The Trust is opposing plans for commercial peat extraction in Fife. The Trust strongly believes there should be no new peat extraction sites, and existing sites should be restored to as near favourable condition as possible.
The proposals for peat extraction at a site near Mossmorran over the next decade are contrary to the Scottish Government’s plans to reduce and phase out the use of peat in horticulture.
The Scottish Wildlife Trust Planning Assistant, John McTague, said: “At a time when peatlands are recognised as an important natural capital asset, it is disappointing to see companies still wanting to extract peat for horticulture. The ecosystem services peatlands provide – such as water filtration, flood mitigation and carbon capture – are much more valuable to society than their use after being dug up.
“It takes a decade for 1 cm of peat to form. So, it is amazing to think the 1.2 metres of peat proposed for extraction at this site would have begun forming 1200 years ago – roughly around the time the Vikings arrived in Scotland.
“Across Scotland, lowland bogs need restoration with approximately 90% being damaged or destroyed. If restored, this site could be rich with peat specialist plants such as cranberry, heather and sundew, to provide crucial habitat for wildlife such as breeding snipe and wintering merlins.
“Many gardeners and allotment owners have used peat-free composts for years, showing that the archaic practice of destroying peat for horticulture is not needed for the production of quality compost.”