Why peatlands? 

Peatlands are carbon-rich wetlands which occupy 10% of UK land area. Peatland plants capture CO2 through photosynthesis. The acidic and waterlogged habitat of healthy, functioning peatlands mean that when plants die, they decompose extremely slowly and so store the carbon in the ground. Peatlands store more carbon than any other terrestrial ecosystem, and in the UK they store 3 billion tonnes of carbon. However, as a result of human disturbance our peatlands are drying out, and then decomposition restarts and so they are rapidly losing this carbon to the atmosphere. The project seeks to reverse this process, and to harness the natural ability  of peatlands to act as efficient and long-term carbon sinks. 


Peatlands from above

About GGR-Peat 

The GGR-Peat project will work with natural processes to restore, and where possible enhance, the environmental conditions that lead to peat formation. Simultaneously it will develop innovative approaches to increase rates of COuptake and store it securely for millennia. As part of this project, three experimental test locations will be established in representative lowland and upland peat settings: South Yorkshire, near Doncaster; land owned by the National Trust in the South Pennines; and the Pwllpeiran Upland Research Centre in the Cambrian Mountains of Wales. 

Project lead: Professor Christopher Evans, UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology. 

Contact: info@ggrpeat.org

Research team: UK Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (lead), Aberystwyth, Aston, Bangor, Durham, East London and Manchester universities, Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) and other project partners from government, NGOs and business.  

Find out more about GGR-Peat.


GGR peat logo

Discover other GGR projects…

CEG char closeup of char on the ground of a field
Tractor lays crushed rock onto field
Miscanthus grass close up
Photo taken looking up at large oak tree with bright green leaves


The biochar project will address the uncertainties concerning the extent and scope of deployment of biochar, including its stability with respect to carbon sequestration, together with quantifying effects on soil health and ecosystem services, economic viability and social acceptability. 

Enhanced rock weathering

The enhanced rock weathering project will explore amending soils with crushed calcium and magnesium rich silicate rocks from waste quarry fines to accelerate natural CO2 sequestration processes.

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Woodland creation and management

The woodland creation and management (‘NetZeroPlus’) project will gather evidence to explore the GGR consequences of different tree-planting options and explore all the diverse aspects of forestry to identify “the right tree in the right place”.