New roadshow sparks fresh discussion on peatland restoration

28 Feb 2023

A series of events to demystify and spark fresh discussion and debate on the benefits of peatland restoration for land managers and local communities will take place across Scotland between 6th and 23rd March.

The Peatland Restoration Roadshow, hosted by Scotland’s only independent specialist peatland consultant, Caledonian Climate Partnership (CCP), supported by NatureScot PeatlandACTION, will explore why restoring these ancient land masses is a quick and important win for the environment. Alongside other experts, it will also focus on the co-benefits for land management and local communities, including tackling biodiversity loss, water quality and deer management, and highlight avenues for grants and funding available for peatland restoration.

Freddie Ingleby is Managing Director of CCP, which surveyed over 8000ha of peatland in Scotland in 2022 and is working with the not-for-profit Wetlands International, supported by conscious fashion designer Stella McCartney, to restore an area of degraded land equivalent to more than 400 football pitches.  Freddie says:

“In Scotland, almost 80% of our peatland is degraded, and, in this state, it is the fifth biggest emitter of carbon in the country. However, properly managed it becomes the greatest carbon store, which is probably one of the biggest natural opportunities we have here to turn the tide on the climate crisis. The good news is that restoring peatland can be delivered at speed and scale with almost immediate environmental benefits, accompanied by economic and social benefits, but we need to be restoring more quickly than we currently are.”

The roadshow is aimed at people of all ages with an interest in land management and nature restoration, including farmers, keepers, stalkers, estate managers and advisers, and the local community.

“We wanted to give everyone in different parts of Scotland an opportunity to learn first-hand about the unique biodiversity of peatlands and their role in mitigating climate change, to meet restoration experts and think differently about how they can be improving landscapes, biodiversity and managing this asset to its best advantage,” explains Freddie, who will be talking about financing large-scale, high integrity peatland restoration, blending grants with private finance, and exploring the myriad of co-benefits that restoration brings. He will also explain the value of maximising natural capital and preparing for future opportunities that may come from policy and markets.

Peatlands are capable of storing on average 10 times more carbon per hectare than any other land habitat, and the positive impact of their restoration is rapid. Carbon emissions are reduced by up to three tonnes per hectare in just a few months and the peatland’s natural role of absorbing carbon is restored. Wildlife and biodiversity thrives, including a significant rise seen in golden plover and water voles, and water is better managed to mitigate flooding, to improve fish stocks through improved quality or to provide consistent hydro power.

Variously across locations, other stakeholders, including speakers from NatureScot’s PeatlandACTION Fund, the Atlantic Salmon Trust and deer management consultancy, Caorann, will explain why healthy peatlands can benefit a wide range of interests

PeatlandACTION, for whom CCP is a delivery agent, manages the £25million funding committed by Scottish Government to restoring 250,000 hectares of degraded peatland by 2030, with the aim to restore 25,000ha of eroding peatlands annually.  Experts from PeatlandACTION’s senior team will be at each event.  Stephen Varwell, Planning & Communications Manager at NatureScot/PeatlandACTION says:

“We are looking forward to the opportunity to speak with the broad spectrum of those involved in managing peatlands in Scotland over the next few weeks. Peatlands are woven into the fabric of Scotland’s landscapes and cultural heritage. However, when the peat is exposed or its hydrology modified these massive carbon stores emit greenhouse gases into the atmosphere and actually contribute to climate change. Restoration plays a significant role in reversing this trend, as well as helping to improve resilience to the impacts of climate change and biodiversity loss. NatureScot’s Peatland ACTION Fund has put over 35,000 hectares of peatlands on the road to restoration but, there is a huge amount of work still to be done. We’re at a critical point in time for addressing how we can maximise Scotland’s peatlands for environmental, economic and social benefit and leverage funding to support land managers to do this”.

Peatland restoration provides widespread natural capital, from providing sustainable local jobs to social well-being for local communities, and more robust landscapes rich biodiverse and rich with wildlife. Water is better managed to mitigate flooding, to improved fish stocks through improved quality or to provide consistent hydro power. Healthy peatlands can be also carefully managed to provide additional financial returns, such as low-intensity sheep grazing and, through the Peatland Code, accessing natural capital markets.

Freddie adds:

“It can be daunting knowing why and how to undertake these projects, and we’d really like to see people of all ages from across roles and responsibilities in land management and the local community to come along to find out more about the challenges and opportunities of peatland restoration in Scotland.”

All events are free to attend and open to all. They will be held 5.30-8pm including refreshments, a Q&A and time to talk informally at the end. For full details and to book a place at the event, see

Peatland Restoration Roadshow

Thornhill – 6th March

BQA Hotel, Thornhill

Freddie Ingleby, Managing Director of Caledonian Climate Partnership

Barry Dunne | Peatland Action Project Manager – Delivery

TBC – likely agronomy/carbon stock related.


Comrie – 7th March

White Church, Comrie

Freddie Ingleby, Managing Director of Caledonian Climate Partnership

Peter Hutchinson | Peatland Action Programme Manager

Dr. Linzi Seivwright, founder director of Caorann –


Bonar Bridge – 16th March

Community Hall, Bonar Bridge

Freddie Ingleby, Managing Director of Caledonian Climate Partnership

Stephen Varwell MRICS | Peatland ACTION – Planning & Communications Manager

Tom Chetwynd MRICS, Chetwynd rural –


Fort Augustus – 23rd March

Village Hall, Fort Augustus

Freddie Ingleby, Managing Director of Caledonian Climate Partnership

Becky Shaw | Peatland ACTION Workforce Planning and Development Manager

Dr Melanie Smith, Research Director – Atlantic Salmon Trust