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Cairngorms National Park


Cairngorms Peatland ACTION

The Cairngorms Peatland ACTION Programme provides funding and technical support for peatland restoration projects that deliver quality outcomes and provide multiple benefits at a scale that makes a difference.

The Scottish Government has set ambitious targets for restoring 250,000 degraded peatlands in Scotland by 2030, as part of the 2020 Climate Change Plan update.

Peatlands cover around 20% of Scotland’s land and store around 1.6 billion tonnes of carbon, equivalent to around 140 years’ worth of Scotland’s total annual greenhouse gas emissions.

In good condition peatlands are a natural carbon sink, support unique ecosystems and biodiversity, reduce flood risk, improve water quality in streams and rivers, reduce wildfire risk, and provide opportunities to enjoy and engage with nature. Due to a combination of pressures (drainage, burning, over grazing, and plantation forestry), much of Scotland’s peatlands are currently in poor condition. On the ground this can look like areas of bare peat, peat hags, or drainage ditches resulting in a drier peatland with changing vegetation. Degraded peatlands emit carbon and are a source of greenhouse gases. In poor condition they are also less resilient to the pressures of a changing climate.

Bare peat and eroding hags and gullies in the Cairngorms

It is vital that our peatlands are actively restored and managed for long-term peatland health.

The Scottish Government has committed £250 million over 10 years for peatland restoration. Part of this funding will come to the Cairngorms National Park Authority to distribute grant funding to projects with the Cairngorms National Park.

Land managers can submit a Land Manager Expression of Interest Form to register your intention to seek for grant funding or support.

Our Peatland ACTION Project Officers can provide advice and support to enable you to apply for grant funding for peatland restoration – Meet the Team.

If you are interested in the Peatland Code and private finance to support a peatland restoration project you should contact the IUCN Peatland Code Co-ordinator and view their online guidance for Peatland Code projects.

Supporting peatland restoration has other benefits, such as supporting skilled green jobs in the rural economy. Find out about our New Entrants to Peatland Restoration scheme or register your company details with us by completing our New Entrants Expression of Interest Form.

Please contact the Cairngorms Peatland ACTION team by email at: [email protected]