Scottish Government funding of £8 million will help with “crucial” work to help tackle climate change, according to ministers.
Environment Secretary Roseanna Cunningham said the cash would help restore 8,000 hectares of peatland in 2017-18 – a move which, in turn, will help reduce carbon emissions.
Ministers have set the target of restoring 250,000 hectares of peatland by 2032.
Ms Cunningham said: “Restoring our peatlands and taking advantage of their value as a natural resource is crucial if we are to continue to build on our world-leading low carbon ambitions and reduce emissions by 66% by 2032.
“By increasing our investment, more communities will be able to transform and use peatlands as an open space, regenerating it as a habitat for wildlife and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.”
Well-maintained peatland can help tackle climate change by absorbing carbon emissions, but when such areas degrade and deteriorate greenhouse gases are released into the environment.
Ms Cunningham said: “Developing peatlands is just one area covered in our draft climate change plan, which sets out the real on-the-ground changes that need to happen across our economy to achieve our ambitious targets.”
Scottish Natural Heritage, the organisation which will carry out the work, said the announcement was “wonderful news”.
Peatland action manager Andrew McBride said: “The extra investment will almost double the amount of peatlands we can restore and also get more people aware and involved in taking care of this valuable natural resource.”
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