Peat Bogs: Environment Protection

Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs written question – answered on 18th June 2021.

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Photo of Kieran Mullan Kieran Mullan Conservative, Crewe and Nantwich

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, what steps he is taking to protect peatlands.

Photo of Rebecca Pow Rebecca Pow The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs

We are committed to protecting and restoring our vulnerable peatlands in England, helping us to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050, and protecting valuable habitats and the biodiversity therein.

We recently published our England Peat Action Plan which sets out further measures to restore, protect and manage England's peatlands. These measures include our commitment to publish a consultation this year on banning the sale of peat and peat containing products in the amateur sector by the end of this parliament. We are addressing the degradation of lowland peat and launched the new Lowland Agricultural Peat Task Force in January 2021, which will develop recommendations to extend the useable life of our agricultural peat soils.

We are also ramping up current levels of peatland restoration through the Nature for Climate Fund, which will provide funding for the restoration of at least 35,000 hectares of peatland by 2025. We will set a target for peatland restoration as part of the forthcoming Net Zero Strategy which will be consistent with our obligations to meet Carbon Budget 6. The Heather and Grass etc. Burning (England) Regulations 2021 came into force on 1 May 2021, banning the burning, without a licence, of specified vegetation on protected blanket bog habitats.

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