About the Great North Bog
A large-scale restoration initiative
The Great North Bog is an ambitious, large-scale peatland restoration initiative being developed by the North Pennines AONB Partnership, the Yorkshire Peat Partnership and the Moors for the Future Partnership, together with the Northumberland Peat Partnership, Cumbria Peat Partnership and Lancashire Peat Partnership.
The Great North Bog is a landscape-scale approach to upland peatland restoration and conservation across nearly 7000 square kilometres of peatland soils in the Protected Landscapes of northern England, storing 400million tonnes of carbon. The programme aims to develop a working partnership to deliver a 10-year funding, restoration and conservation plan to make a significant contribution to the UK’s climate and carbon sequestration targets.
Benefits to society
A healthy peatland slows the flow of water
A healthy peatland slows the flow of water from the hills, reducing the risk of flooding and the impact of storm water, directly benefitting towns and major cities downstream.
Drinking water for millions
Peatlands in the Great North Bog provide drinking water to 15 million properties in the area. Eroding peatlands increase the costs of water treatment while restoration reduces the costs of providing safe drinking water.
Mental and physical wellbeing
Healthy peatlands are strong, resilient and ecologically diverse landscapes where people can live and work. They contribute to the mental and physical wellbeing of local communities and visitors.
Peatlands store vast amounts of carbon
They store vast amounts of carbon. Restoring them will also reduce carbon emissions released by damaged peat.
It is estimated that 4.4million tonnes of carbon is released annually by damaged peat in the Great North Bog.
Healthy peatlands support a wide range of wildlife. Restoration will reverse the trend of decline in upland species
(identified in the State of Nature 2019 report).
In the last two decades, the three lead organisations have restored about 1,100km2 (YPP – 323km2, NPAONB – 350km2, MFFP – 454km2).
This is a great start but despite this massive effort it is still less than 20% of the total area and, with a climate and biodiversity emergency, the time is now to pool our skills to make a revolutionary change in the rate of restoration of England’s upland peatlands.