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Peatland provides an important habitat for flora and fauna, stores water - which helps to reduce flooding - and is a natural store for carbon, helping to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The restoration of peatland is a priority for the UK Government and all moorland managers.
Surveys carried out on the Abbeystead Estate, Lancashire, showed there were 39.2 hectares of bare peat, eroded by a population of gulls polluting the soils, leading to overgrazing. We have since restored over 78% of these areas to bring a reduction of more than 60% in the CO2 emissions they emit annually.
Environment Agency research has shown that water runoff from treated areas has already been reduced by 50%, slowing the flow into the headwaters of the catchment and alleviating the risk of flooding downstream.