BMC announces major climate initiative

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The British Mountaineering Council (BMC) has launched a major new campaign to promote the health of the UK’s wild moorland areas in order to combat climate change. Entitled The Climate Project, the initiative aims to support the work of Moors for the Future, an organisation which, since 2003, has developed and delivered a landscape scale programme of blanket bog restoration, resulting in 32 square kilometres of degraded bogland being brought back to life.

So what’s the big idea? Well, it all revolves around an amazing little plant called sphagnum, which, when growing healthily takes as much carbon out of the atmosphere as a tropical rainforest. In the UK peatlands are our largest carbon store, and in the Peak District alone, 20 million tonnes of carbon is stored in the peat. Due to the acidic and water-logged conditions present in blanket bogs, plants decay very slowly, and this results in the slow but steady build-up of peat, which locks in the carbon.

This is all well and good but although peat moorlands cover 15% of the UK, many have been dug up, drained or destroyed, and in fact the Peak District moorland landscape is now the most degraded in Europe and the bad news is that damaged peat can be a great carbon emitter. The Climate Project will be supporting the work of Moors for the Future to reverse this trend, and the benefits to the environment are numerous – not just actively fighting climate change, but also reducing wildfire risk, reducing flooding risk and protecting endangered wildlife.

So how can you help? Well the BMC are raising funds to help Moors for the Future plant more sphagnum and bring degraded moorland back to life. It costs £25 to plant one square metre of sphagnum moss and create a healthy moor, so if you’d like to ‘do your bit’ then head to the website below to sponsor a metre of moorland (or whatever amount you feel able to donate).

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