NFU responds to Defra survey on England Peat Strategy

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The NFU has submitted a comprehensive response to Defra’s survey to shape the development of the forthcoming England Peat Strategy.

Government’s 25-year environment plan listed a strategy for the restoration of peatland areas in England as a priority action. The England Peat Strategy (EPS) is a joint piece of work between the Defra Farming team and Soils team, and has been described as a ‘living’ plan with an overall aim to improve the condition of the peatlands, cut carbon emissions and deliver a slew of environmental benefits.

Defra sees this survey as a key part in developing the strategy, which we expect to be published sometime in the spring.

Key questions from Defra’s survey included:

  • Are our targets realistic and achievable to ensure peatland is functioning healthily for the needs of wildlife, people and the planet by 2050?
  • What other actions, if any, could help to transform the level of peatland restoration in England?
  • What are the strategic locations where partnerships can work together on large-scale peatland restoration projects, as a contribution to the Nature Recovery Network?
  • How should the government determine the right balance between more sustainable management and restoration of lowland agricultural peatlands?
  • How should the government ensure that a successful horticultural industry can operate without peat?

The NFU understands that the strategy also includes the provision for a Lowland Agricultural Peat Taskforce, which is due to launch in the new year. The NFU has been informally consulted on the nominations for the taskforce, which we will also have a seat on.

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