UK government has asked UNESCO to list the huge peat bogs of Scotland

The British government has requested listing the vast peat bogs of northern Scotland as a UNESCO site.

The many positives in this move. It is one of the world’s largest peat bogs that survives, and in places that peat goes down more than 15m.

Indeed it contains so much carbon is it may be one of the world’s largest carbon stores. There is around 1400 square kilometres of pristine peat bog, holding at least 400 million tonnes of carbon, thought to be around twice the amount of Carbon stored in all the trees across the whole of the UK.

We have also been doing much work on restoring these beat bogs to their former glory, something that many other countries are watching us with. This is because damaged peat bog can instead of taking in carbon start releasing vast quantities back into the air. If this was had to happen in Scotland, it’s consequences could be felt globally.

Apart from its worldwide importance as a carbon sink, peat bogs are also often incredibly biodiverse, and it is the same with this one.

In some ways it is astounding that there any significant peatlands that have not been destroyed, as previous British governments have paid large quantities of money to dry out peat bogs so the land can be used for other things. This water of course is then felt further downstream and has caused significant flooding in places. Ecologically these peat bog areas are also highly important, containing vast numbers of birds and plants and insects found in few other places.

If done right this is an area in which the UK can leave the world, or we can simply join the many other countries around the world whose peat bogs are becoming carbon emitters, and may become the last straw the pushes the world into runaway global warming.

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