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Published: 11 Apr 2022

Taking action for peat

It’s not enough to love our peatlands, we have to act – now. What we need to do – and how you can help.

Peatlands - Scotland the Big Picture

  1. Stop commercial forestry and development on peatland 

    Climate breakdown is our future so let’s stop destroying the things that help us. We can’t dig up peatland that’s formed over thousands of years and recreate it on a whim elsewhere. Nature is the master builder and likes to take its time. We can give support by protecting peatlands as much as possible. The John Muir Trust campaigns against development that will damage and destroy important habitats such as peatlands and native woodland. Find out about our policy work, and how you can get involved
  2. Stop commercial peat extraction and exploitation

    Peat bogs are vital ecosystems. We know the damage that peat extraction does – both to our wildlife and to our climate. It’s time to stop exploiting for the sake of life on this planet. If you’re a gardener, ensure you’re using peat-free compost – you can check brands’ credentials using this online tool.
  3. Stop burning on peatlands

    We need biodiversity. We need healthy peatlands. We don’t need millions of acres of manufactured grouse moor that favours a heather monoculture at the expense of diversity.
  4. Monitor and restore peatlands

    The damage done to our peatlands over centuries is not irrevocable. We can remove harmful forestry, block drains and smooth out furrows to get our peaty ecosystems functioning again. That’s why we’re fundraising to do more (you can support this work by donating to our Peatland Appeal). The more we restore the more carbon we store. We have important peatlands across most of the land we care for, and monitor what we have with the aim of protecting the best and restoring damage and degradation. Check out our restoration work on Skye
  5. Manage paths and deer numbers to protect sensitive peatland habitat

    High traffic from humans and deer can cause erosion of peatlands. Our careful path creation and maintenance work, and our deer management, help to protect sensitive peatland habitat. Read more about our land management
  6. Provide a steady funding stream for restoration work

    Introducing a natural carbon emissions land tax could help, so that there are financial incentives for landowners to become carbon savers instead of carbon emitters. We’ve created a proposal to do just that. It might not be perfect but we need some radical carrot and stick thinking to fine-tune a better future. We think landowners should be obliged to protect and restore the integrity of their carbon storing peatlands, woodlands and other habitats. Read about our Carbon Emissions land Tax proposal and how you can help support it
  7. Encourage public support for robust policy

    We’re encouraging the public to get involved and stand up for wild places. Most recently, we’ve called for people to input to a vision for Scotland in 2045. Read what we say about 2045
Sligachan Lochan - Sandy Weir

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