Peatland restoration grant scheme opens for farmers

Natural England's new scheme aims to restore peatlands across England
Natural England's new scheme aims to restore peatlands across England

Farmers and landowners can now apply to a competitive grant scheme which aims to restore peatlands in the uplands and lowlands of England.

The Nature for Climate Peatland Grant Scheme (NCPGS) will provide funding until the scheme closes, in 2025.

It is open to private farmers and landowners, as well as environmental groups, local authorities, charities and public bodies.

Natural England says it is looking for landscape scale applications that work to restore the whole hydrological unit of a peatland.

It says this is likely to involve a number of sites and landowners, so applications from partnerships are encouraged.

The objectives of the scheme are to reduce emissions from peat by 9 megatonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents cumulatively by 2050.

The NCPGS aims to establish the process of restoring 35,000 hectares of degraded peat in England by March 2025.

Natural England says that applications must also provide wider benefits such as improved ecosystems and biodiversity, better water quality and natural flood management.

Two types of grant are available: the 'restoration grant' funds landscape scale restoration work on degraded peatlands in England.

Those looking at applying for this particular grant can normally apply for up to 75% of the total project costs.

However, in exceptional cases, Natural England explains that applications can apply for up to 85% of the cost.

The other grant - called the 'discovery grant' - supports applicants to gather the information they will need to apply for a restoration grant in future rounds.

Those applying for this can receive up to 100 percent of funds for these projects.

Farmers and landowners interested in applying need to register their interest through Defra’s eSourcing portal.