Guest post: Peat bogs are carbon sinks

Originally a comment by Enzyme on One’s estates.

Campaigners have said much of this land lies on peat bogs, which should be allowed to grow wild to sequester carbon instead of being used for grouse shooting.

OK, but this is important, and it perhaps does undermine some of the point about tree-cover. I’ve no love for grouse-moors, and many grouse moors are close to peat areas: anyone who’s been to the Peak District can attest that there’ll be grouse-butts in one place, and a couple of hundred metres away you’re up to your thighs in peat.

BUT… Peat-bogs are not forest. They are AMAZING carbon sinks. According to the Beeb,

Peatlands cover around 12% of the land in the UK and store an estimated 3 billion tonnes of carbon, equivalent to all the forests in the UK, Germany and France put together.

Granted this, complaining that they have lower-than-average tree cover is to miss the mark. In fact, if they had more tree cover, they’d be worse for the environment: much worse, in fact.

Bluntly, in huge parts of the UK, what you want is scrubby upland moors, some of which will be waterlogged, but some of which won’t – and the not-waterlogged bit is ideal for grouse-shooting.

By all means put an end to that. But pointing out lower-than-average tree cover is environmentally misleading.

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