Along with 50 innovative projects to restore and rewet peatlands, create green urban spaces, improve flood resilience and tackle climate change, via DEFRA and the Environment Agency's Natural Environment Investment Readiness Fund we have received an award of £99,836 for work at the Great Fen.
The funding will allow the project to pilot an investment model across an area of Great Fen peatland connecting fenland fragments, to unlock carbon income in the future and be a key demonstrator for unlocking this potential in lowland peatlands in the UK. Work lies ahead to develop a business case and investment proposal to secure buyer commitments for the peat carbon credits created by the rewetting of peatland.
Lowland peatlands face particular problems: over 50% of CO2 emitted by farming in the UK comes from erosion of lowland peat soils, contributing massively to climate change emissions. Lowland peatlands suffer an unsustainable loss of soils (around 2cm depth lost p.a.), water courses are polluted and effectiveness as part of water management systems are compromised; farmland, homes and businesses face increasing flood events, and threatened fen species are impacted by loss of wetland habitat.
To date there are no credible lowland peat carbon schemes to offer potential investors, which is why WTBCN, working with working with experts in Green finance, Finance Earth, have undertaken a Great Fen peat financial assessment and initial carbon buyer engagement to assess the market. The project will draw on trial pioneering wet farming that lock in carbon and support farming livelihoods, with significant opportunities for expansion.