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£1 Million to Restore Wales' Important Peatlands

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6 October 2017

Thanks to a generous contribution of £ 1m from the Welsh Government's Sustainable Management Scheme, some of Wales' most important peatlands will be protected, maintained and improved.

Wales has over 70,000 hectares of peatland and most of these are blanket bogs in the uplands. Following this new financial support, some of Wales' peatlands will be able to be sustainably managed which will bring many benefits to the country's ecosystems. Important carbon will be stored, it will provide opportunities to alleviate flood risk, it will provide clean drinking water and provide natural habitats for valuable biodiversity.

The Mawndiroedd Cymru (translated from Welsh means Wales’ Peatlands),  scheme is a joint scheme between the Snowdonia National Park Authority, the Brecon Beacons National Park Authority, Natural Resources Wales and the National Trust, but will also be working with other organisations.   It will run until the end of August 2020 and will employ a Project Manager based in Snowdonia and two Project Officers - one based in Snowdonia and the other in the Brecon Beacons.

On behalf of the partnership, Rhys Owen, Head of Agriculture and Conservation at  Snowdonia National Park Authority said,

“We are extremely grateful to the Welsh Government for its generosity in contributing towards a scheme which will help to ensure a prosperous future for Welsh peatlands. Peat restoration is beneficial to all elements of today's society as it reduces carbon emissions, improves water quality and improves river management. In addition, it will assist land managers in improving grazing opportunities, it will retain the distinctiveness of our historic landscapes and preserve prehistoric features.

Our intention is to establish a hub or an electronic platform that will be the focus point for all data and research relating to Welsh peatlands, provide an accreditation scheme when delivering training to land managers to improve and restore peatlands, then provide packages or bundles of different areas with the intention of attracting a new market to invest in the peatlands through the Payment for Ecosystem Services scheme, The Peatland Code."

The scheme’s new posts have now gone to press and further details about the work  will be released after the new officers are in position.

Notes to Editors

  1. Although 3% of the world's area is a peatland, it holds 30% of the world's carbon.
  2. Over recent years SNPA has been involved in a number of peatland restoration projects. Five years ago, in conjunction with the Countryside Council for Wales (Natural Resources Wales) and a private landowner, over 33 hectares of peatland was restored at Rhyd Ddu, Beddgelert. Later in the east of the Park, approximately 67km of drainage ditches were closed at sites at Mynydd Hiraethog, the Migneint, Berwyn Mountains, Cors Arthog and Dyffryn Ogwen, and natural vegetation was cleared and boundaries were restored at Cors Arthog. In addition, the Authority has just started on a Heritage Lottery Fund granted project, Cyfoeth Ein Corsydd, which collects and records  memories and practices of how bogs have been used over the years as a resource for heating, to create light , to build and improve health.
  3. The Welsh Government's Sustainable Management Scheme provides financial support for a range of activities that will improve the management of Wales' natural resources and in doing so, contributes to the well-being of Welsh rural communities.