Many thanks to Hertford and Stortford residents who contacted me on Peatland burning.
I know that healthy peatlands have an important role to play in cutting greenhouse gas emissions and helping the UK reach its net zero target. I am therefore pleased that £640 million has been committed through the Nature for Climate Fund to restore 35,000 hectares of England’s peatland by 2025.
My ministerial colleagues have always been clear about the need to phase out rotational burning of protected blanket bog to conserve those vulnerable habitats. The intention has been to legislate if a voluntary approach failed to deliver. I know that Ministers are currently considering legislation and the next steps which can be taken. In addition, the Government plans to publish the England Peat Strategy before the end of the year which will detail further how we can protect, restore, and reduce damage to our peatlands so that they deliver benefits for climate and wildlife.
Thank you for making me aware of the debate which took place on 18 November. Unfortunately, due to my other parliamentary commitments I was unable to attend. However, I consider this to be an important issue and will continue to monitor it closely.