BASC has welcomed the news that members of the Moorland Association have worked to achieve over 3,000 hectares of bare peat restoration across their grouse moors in the last ten years.
In article published in the Maldon and Burnham Standard, a survey of Moorland Association members reported that they have worked to re-wet the land by blocking 1,830 miles of drains. Originally dug to improve farmland, impeding the drains has helped to further improve 6,000 hectares of upland peat.
What are the Government targets for peatland restoration?
Without question, the Government’s targets of restoring 35,000 hectares of moorland by 2025 are ambitious. However, these findings from the Moorland Association show the work of private individuals has already provided a quarter of the work required to meet those targets.
Although a challenging task on a moorland landscape, those managing the uplands of northern England were also reported to be responsible for planting 1,275 hectares (3,150 acres) of trees in suitable locations.
The survey found that, overall, the work undertaken by Moorland Association members to preserve their peatland has resulted in a saving of over 61,126 tonnes of carbon dioxide every year. The report showed these findings our only 60% of the total work planned, meaning more benefits are still to come.
New funding streams available
The shooting community is aware of the positive impact it can have on species, habitats, and communities, yet in the past we have often gone quietly about our business.
A key objective for BASC is to ensure that our Government and decision makers understand the positive impact that custodians of Britain’s uplands have had on the land they manage, and in turn on the wider environment.
Gareth Dockerty, BASC’s uplands officer, highlighted the support available for moorland owners and managers: “New Government funding streams are emerging to support peatland restoration, developing projects that shooting must be a key stakeholder in. It is vital that we continue to build relationships and work with partner organisations and communities in order to be involved at this level.”
Within the article Amanda Anderson, director of the Moorland Association, reinforced this message, stressing the need for all those responsible for managing peatland to pull together: “there needs to be a concerted effort across all peatlands to meet Government targets”.
Shooting provides solutions
Our role is to reinforce the message that we have, and continue to, provide solutions. It is through this kind of proactive partnership working by the shooting community that we will ensure sustainable shooting is at the heart of tackling climate change.