Woodlands in the UK store 150 million tonnes of carbon.
Peatlands in the UK store 3 billion tonnes of carbon!
How a bog can be a sink
Peat forms when moorland soil becomes waterlogged, sometimes called a bog. Because it is wet and airless, carbon in the peat does not decompose, which makes peat soils a carbon sink.
If all the peatlands in the UK were in perfect condition, they could store away 400,000 tonnes of carbon every year. That's the same as taking 84,000 cars off the road.
How a sink turns into a source
Peatlands get damaged by fires, air pollution, overgrazing, over drainage and footpath erosion. Damaged peatlands have bare soil that gets eroded. It stops being waterlogged and so stops storing carbon. Instead the carbon gets emitted into the atmosphere as the soil is eroded.
If peatlands continue to be damaged, they could emit upto 381,000 tonnes of carbon every year.
Case study: Restoring peat in the Peak District
This video shows the damage done to the peat moorland in the Peak District National Park, and how the Moors for the Future project is restoring peat, to help fight climate change, reduce flooding and increase wildlife.