News story

Peatlands to be restored in the North West

Environment Agency secures £160,000 to restore peatlands across Greater Manchester, Merseyside and Cheshire

peatland
Sykes Moor and Peak Naze peatland

Work is underway to restore peatlands to their natural state across Greater Manchester, Merseyside and Cheshire after £160,000 of funding was secured through the Department Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

The Environment Agency will be working with a number of partners including Cheshire Wildlife Trust, Warrington Borough Council and United Utilities at six sites.

Restoring peatland to their natural state

The funding will be used to restore upland and lowland peatlands to their natural state by increasing their capacity to prevent carbon entering the atmosphere, reduce flood risk by slowing the flow of rain water and creating habitats for vulnerable wildlife.

Natural England has been advising the partners about the best design for the schemes, and approving methods used on the Sites of Special Scientific Interest.

By blocking drainage ditches, building peat bunds and working with the local topography, the work will help keep water on the sites, encouraging the typical bog plant species and discouraging the dry-loving grasses and birch.

They provide 70% of our drinking water

Peatlands cover 11% of England’s landscape and they provide a great habitat for a wide range of wildlife and birds including merlin, dunlin and golden plover. They also provide 70% of our drinking water and reduce greenhouse gases by locking away at least 3.2 billion tonnes of CO².

There are six projects across the Greater Manchester, Merseyside and Cheshire that have secured this funding, part of a Defra peatlands restoration pot of £500,000, with further projects around the country.

Environment Minister Thérèse Coffey said:

Well-maintained peatlands are an iconic aspect of the English landscape and are a vital part of the natural ecosystem. They provide key habitats for wildlife, supply us with clean water and reduce carbon emissions.

This scheme will help fulfil our ambition to be the first generation to leave the natural environment in a better state while returning thousands of hectares of peatland to their natural state.

Lisa Whelan, Environment Programme Manager at the Environment Agency, said:

Peatlands are a fantastic resource and these restoration projects have multiple benefits to the environment. Work at the sites will include creating fire breaks and peat bunds, introduce new plant species, block ditches along with further initiatives to restore the peatlands.

Some projects will also serve as study sites for trials of innovative new restoration techniques. As well as having > a huge environmental benefit such as reducing greenhouse gases it will enhance habitats for wildlife.

Work is underway at six sites across Greater Manchester, Merseyside and Cheshire

Risley Moss, Cheshire - working with Warrington Borough Council (funding of £20,000) Danes Moss, Cheshire - working with Cheshire Wildlife Trust (funding of £15,000) Holcroft Moss, Cheshire - working with Cheshire Wildlife Trust (funding of £46,000) Goyt’s Moss Bridge, Peak District - working with United Utilities (funding of £16,000) Peak Naze and Sykes Moor, Peak District - working with United Utilities (funding of £36,300) Crompton Moor, Greater Manchester - working with City of Trees (funding of £30,000)

Total funding is £163,300

Published 23 February 2018