One more hugely important reason why heaths and moors must be a high priority for conservation. Here is an extract from an article in The Guardian :
A report by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has estimated that the UK’s peatlands and peatbogs lock in about 3bn tonnes of CO2, and are a far more significant carbon store than the country’s forests. But they are being damaged so seriously that they are putting the UK’s climate targets at risk.
The new study, by an IUCN commission of inquiry, has found that losing only 5% of the 2.7m hectares of peatland in Britain, which cover large areas of the Highlands, the Hebrides, the Peak District, the Pennines, Northern Ireland and upland Wales, would be equal to the UK’s entire annual carbon emissions.
The IUCN described peatlands as the “Cinderella habitat: overlooked and undervalued”.