The Scottish Wildlife Trust has today submitted evidence to the Scottish Parliament's Rural Affairs, Climate Change and Environment Committee which highlights both the plight of Scotland’s lowland raised bogs, the costs involved and benefits gained from restoring them. The submission comes in response to a call for evidence on the draft 2013-14 Budget.
Lowland raised bogs are among the rarest and most threatened habitats in Scotland and Europe which makes them special places for wildlife. Healthy ‘raised ‘ bogs, as well as having a unique biodiversity value also provide vital ecosystem services for Scotland such as locking up carbon and cleaning water.
The report showed that, out of the 58 sites surveyed, nearly half had deteriorated in the last 15 years. Most landowners questioned would support funded restoration measures being carried out on their sites – which would also bring a welcome boost to rural incomes.
Dr Maggie Keegan, Scottish Wildlife Trust’s Head of Policy said:
“Although we know Scotland has an immense carbon store in its peatlands and we know degraded peatland must be restored to help combat climate change, the poor state of many of our lowland raised bogs is hardly ever recognised. Our evidence highlights the plight of many of these unique and rare habitats and we hope the Government’s commitment to invest in peatland restoration will kick start their recovery which would be good news for both rural economies and wildlife.”