Peatland habitats

As the forestry sector’s understanding of habitats and ecosystems has improved there has been an evolution in thinking about what should be planted, where and how.

It is now well accepted that trees can help to mitigate climate change by sequestering carbon. However, forestry operations on deep peatland can, in some circumstances, result in an overall release of carbon due to changes in the soil.

Therefore, on deep peats (which we define as soils with a peat layer exceeding 50cms in depth) forest managers need to consider the carbon impact of different management options alongside other priorities such as timber production, biodiversity and landscape.

Peatland management guidance

The carbon science of trees and peatland is a rapidly developing area, and we will review our guidance when there are further scientific developments. As well as informing good forestry practice, this guidance will help implement the National Peatland Plan for Scotland.