Yesterday was World Wetlands Day and saw organisations and people around the world celebrating the lifeblood of our natural world. Browse the tag WorldWetlandsDay on Twitter or Instagram and you will see just a few of the contributions.
The day is all about raising awareness and encouraging the restoration and protection of wetlands – which provides us with clean fresh water, wildlife, recreational activities, and allows many jobs and livelihoods to function.
But what is a wetland?
(Image from https://www.worldwetlandsday.org/)
Peatlands are a type of wetland that are clearly close to our hearts at Crichton Carbon Centre; on the 1st February we launched our new project, Peatland Connections, and we restore peatlands via our Peatland ACTION project. The Centre also runs a training programme for peatland restoration practitioners.
Why do we love peatlands so much? They – like other wetlands – provide us with so many stories, ecosystem services, wildlife, and more. They have huge value which is only just being truly recognised, such as:
Carbon store (stores huge amounts of carbon when healthy, protecting us against climate change)
Filters water (improves water quality)
Stores water (protects against flooding downstream)
Provides a home for unique wildlife (such as sphagnum, meadow pipits, or sundews).
Without healthy peatlands, these services are lost – and that costs us economically, environmentally, and personally. Although many of our peatlands aren't healthy, more and more sites are being restored as their importance becomes recognised.
Take a look at our GIF showing the restoration at South Dee (site managed by Forestry and Land Scotland, work funded by PeatlandACTION). What a difference a year can make!
Here at the Crichton Carbon Centre, we hope that #WorldWetlandsDay brought our beloved peatlands to your attention a little more – and that next time you go out to enjoy a peatland, you think of them even more fondly than you did before.