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International Symposium on Peatland in Wales

Joint British Ecological Society and IUCN UK National Committee Peatland Programme Symposium on ‘Investing in Peatlands – Demonstrating Success’ - 26-28 June 2012, Bangor University

The UK’s peatlands hold over 3 billion tonnes of carbon, but unless we urgently take steps to repair past damage, these stores could release massive amounts of carbon into the atmosphere. The UK has some world leading examples of peatland restoration, which is helping not only prevent carbon loss, but also protecting important biodiversity and valuable water resources.

A major conference on peatlands at Bangor University on ‘Investing in Peatlands – Demonstrating Success’ is bringing together world-class experts to highlight the importance of peatlands. Peatlands are important for climate, water regulation and biodiversity conservation.

The conference will hear the results of the recent IUCN UK Commission of Inquiry on peatlands which sets out a challenge for action to conserve and restore our valuable peatlands.  A new IUCN UK Peatland Programme publication ‘Peatland Restoration – Demonstrating Success’ will also be launched showcasing successful restoration projects across the UK. Case studies illustrate opportunities for restoration and sustainable management as well as innovative ways of engaging people in conservation action.

While the majority of UK peatlands are hugely damaged, there are major strides being made in restoration and fighting back against the worst effects of climate change. The conference and booklet highlights and celebrates successful and on-going peatland restoration. Chair of the IUCN Peatland Programme, Dr. Rob Stoneman says “In every part of the UK, in every peatland landscape, people – land managers, companies, conservationists, policy makers and scientists – have come together to restore these damaged ecosystems.”

Peter Jones, Peatland Ecologist for the Countryside Council for Wales said: " “Interest in the restoration of our fantastic peatland resource is at an all time high.  Their importance for wildlife is now widely appreciated, but now there is also a growing appreciation of the crucial role they can play in storing and capturing carbon and thus helping controls levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.  They can also help regulate both water flow to streams and rivers and also its chemistry.  Management and restoration of peatlands is a prime example of how we can manage our landscape for multiple benefits. ”.  

Peter Jones, senior ecologist, Countryside Council for Wales, says “There has never been a better time to take action for peatlands whether at a government level or as private individuals."

 “It is marvellous for Bangor University to host a conference of such crucial importance to the future of Britain’s peatlands” added Prof Chris Freeman. “With peatland experts across the University, Countryside Council for Wales and Natural Environment Reserch Council‘s Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, Bangor is ideally positioned to ensure that the event is a great success.”

Delegates will have the opportunity to experience peatland action in progress, on fieldtrips to EU award winning LIFE project Active Blanket Bogs in Wales and the Anglesey and Llyn Fen LIFE project which is currently being completed.

Conference partners include Countryside Council for Wales, Welsh Government, The Anglesey and Llyn Fens LIFE Project, Welsh Water, RSPB, Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, National Trust, Environment Agency Wales, The Wildlife Trusts and the Bangor University.


Publication date: 22 June 2012