The Peatland Code

The Peatland Code is a voluntary standard for UK peatland projects wishing to market the climate benefit of peatland restoration. It was launched initially in 2015 after extensive work by many parties, including Forest Carbon, funded by the UK government. it is intended that the Code will follow the path set down by the Woodland Carbon Code by achieving full ISO14065 audit status, and having its credits listed on the Markit Registry. Forest Carbon expects to be the first entity to achieve certification of a Peatland Code project, at Dryhope, in early to mid-2018.

Peatlands are naturally waterlogged systems which slow decomposition and enable plant remains, containing carbon removed from the atmosphere by photosynthesis, to be laid down as peat. Healthy peatlands can accumulate carbon, in the form of peat, at a rate of approximately 1mm a year, as well as continuing to store carbon from millennia before. 

Much of the UK’s peatland, however, is no longer sequestering and storing carbon - instead due to previous land management practices it has become a significant net source of greenhouse gases as it dries and degrades. In fact peatlands currently emit around 16 million tonnes of CO2e each year - equivalent to around half of all of the reduction efforts made annually in the UK. Preventing further damage and restoring healthy ecosystem function can therefore play an important role in climate regulation within the UK.

The UK has committed to safeguarding peatlands and restoration work here has been shown to be effective - restoration stops CO2 losses immediately, as well as then creating conditions for laying down fresh peat.  The good news is that, like woodlands, restored peatlands also make significant other contributions to the UK, including improved water quality, habitat creation, and flood mitigation. 

A significant barrier to restoration is financial, with current public funding being limited.  To make peatland restoration economically attractive additional funding is required, such as that provided by the voluntary carbon market to woodland creation. As with woodland creation and the Woodland Carbon Code, a quality assurance mechanism is required to ensure businesses and individuals supporting peatland restoration can be sure of the carbon benefits of their projects. 

The Peatland Code is  a voluntary standard for UK peatland projects wishing to market the  climate benefit of restoration. It sets out a series of best practice requirements including a standard method of quantification which when validated by an independent body will give assurance to buyers that their purchase will return verifiable climate benefit over the project duration.


Where our
woodlands are

Forest Carbon leads the way in voluntary carbon woodland creation in the UK. Through the planting of over 7.0 million new trees in 130+ new woodlands in the UK since 2006 our partners’ projects are removing over 1,400,000 tonnes of CO2 from the nation’s atmosphere, as well as providing a host of other benefits to society, including flood mitigation, river improvement and public access.

The quality of our schemes is assured by the UK government’s Woodland Carbon Code which certifies our projects in important areas like biodiversity, ‘additionality’, risk management and carbon capture measurement.

Compensating for your unavoidable environmental impact by helping to create a new woodland is rewarding in many ways. Check out our woodland location map and see what trees we’ve planted.

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