The Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee is to look into the state of peatland in England.
80% of UK peatland is in a damaged and deteriorating state, according to the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) said in 2013 that, without action, it is likely that the current level of degradation will increase with climate change and will increasingly cause costly problems to society.
Peat bogs and fens are important habitats for many species, and have many environmental benefits including storing carbon, improving water quality and helping with flood management. Degraded peatlands release carbon into the atmosphere and are highly vulnerable to wild fires.
According to the Government’s 25 Year Environment Plan conventional agricultural production using current techniques on drained peatland is inherently unsustainable. An England Peatland Strategy is expected to be published by the end of 2019.
The Committee will look at how peatland in England has been degraded, the environmental impacts of that degradation, and how it can be restored.