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Still Waters

Peatland restoration project turns land into ‘giant sponge’, to draw down carbon

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Still Waters

A major conservation scheme designed to restore crucial peat bogs in the north of England has turned Holcombe Moor, near Manchester, into a “giant sponge”, which will help the habitat recover, enabling it to store more carbon and help tackle the climate crisis.

A coalition of local and national conservation organisations spent six months creating almost 3,500 scallops-shaped banks of peat, known as “peat bunds”, which they say will help trap water in pools, instead of it running off the moor.

The project will improve the condition of the peat and enable it to store more carbon, and should also boost bird numbers and reduce flooding downstream, according to The National Trust, who worked on the project alongside the Moors for the Future Partnership, Natural England and the Holcombe Moor Commoners’ Association.

It is thought that interventions may already be having some effect, with the flood-prone communities at the bottom of the moor avoiding damage during Storm Christoph earlier this year.


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