Wales: Wales has a secret weapon against wildfires and climate change. Read details

Natural Resources Wales, a government-sponsored body that manages the UK’s natural resources, said in a report that the Wales peatland restoration project is progressing faster than expected.

The restoration aims to slow the carbon released into the atmosphere. A lower carbon level is a crucial factor in forest fire prevention. Against an annual restoration target of 650 hectares, the authorities have already reached more than 1,000 hectares.

Importance of peatlands

Peatlands, an area of ​​loose/wet ground called bogs or moors, are a vital natural resource that provides a barrier to the spread of fires.

Peatlands are almost 90% water, which acts as a natural barrier against sudden wildfires during summer heat waves. In addition, peatlands reduce the risk of flooding downstream.

Importance of peatland conservation

Peatlands are known to store carbon efficiently. Therefore, damaging peatlands or moorlands can lead to the release of stored carbon into the atmosphere, thereby accelerating climate change. It is estimated that around 4% of Wales is covered in peatland which contains almost 30% of Wales’ soil carbon.

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Peatlands also benefit biodiversity since (peatlands) are the natural habitat of mosses, insects and birds.

Experts also believe that scientifically preserved peatlands help build healthy water supplies. Around 70% of the UK’s drinking water comes from peat-dominated areas. The restoration will also help maintain a steady flow of water in rivers and streams, even during dry periods. The bog ecosystem is essential to maintaining a healthy environment in Wales.

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