Peatland restoration study to be conducted in Inverclyde

Councillor Michael McCormick

A feasibility investigation into peatland restoration is to be carried out in Inverclyde in a bid to reduce carbon emissions.

Inverclyde Council announced it has secured support from the Peatland Action project, part of NatureScot, for an investigation of local authority-owned land to see what can be done.

Consultants have been appointed to conduct a study of land at Garvocks/Dowries and Hardridge, which will be done with the permission of tenants who farm these areas.

Peat is partially decayed vegetation built up over a number of years that is found in cool, usually waterlogged areas and help lock in carbon, as well as being habitats for wildlife.

Inverclyde Council explained their use as valuable carbon stores means peatlands are now widely regarded as playing a ‘key’ role in tackling climate change, biodiversity loss and achieving net zero emissions.

Councillor Michael McCormick, Inverclyde Council’s convener of environment and regeneration, said, “It’s great that in the run-up to the COP26 summit in Glasgow in November that we’ve been successful in securing support for a feasibility study into peatland restoration. We’re in a climate emergency and we must do all we can individually and collectively to reduce carbon emissions and support initiatives that will help improve the environment.

“Peatlands in good health can be valuable carbon stores which will contribute positively to reducing levels of CO2 for the benefit of residents and nature and that’s why it’s important that we examine more closely ways in which we can improve and indeed restore existing peatland areas in Inverclyde.”

The consultants carrying out the study in Inverclyde will be managed and funded by Peatland Action with input from the council and tenant farmers.