The Climate Project - BMC

Sponsor 1 sqm of moorland and help the BMC to protect the moors and reduce carbon emissions

Since 1944, our friends at The British Mountaineering Council (BMC) have been carrying out vital work on behalf of climbers, hill walkers and mountaineers. It’s wide-ranging role as an advisory body, events organiser, information and service provider, and a crucial link between members and external organisations, has empowered generations of people to explore, enjoy and learn more about the outdoor environments we all love.

 

Some of their most vital work is around conservation. By working with conservation bodies and land managers, they work to educate people on how to minimise their environmental impact and leave as little trace as possible on their visits to the hills and mountain areas. That’s something we‘re passionate about too, which is why we’re delighted to support The BMC in their latest initiative, The Climate Project, to help protect our important moorland landscapes, which play a vital role for biodiversity and contribute a huge amount toward the fight against climate change. 

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What is The Climate Project?

The Climate Project is a new BMC campaign to support the work of Moors for the Future who are making a real difference, to the local moorland landscapes that you love. Blanket bogs in moorland areas play a vital role in tackling climate change because they absorb carbon from the atmosphere and store it as peat. By storing this carbon in the ground, it doesn’t add to the greenhouse effect or contribute toward the warming effects that excess atmospheric carbon is having on rising global temperatures. How do our wild moorlands make this possible? It’s all because of an amazing plant called sphagnum. When growing healthily, this little plant powerhouse can take as much carbon out of the atmosphere as a tropical rainforest.

 

Thanks to the existence of sphagnum, healthy peatlands are the UK's largest carbon store. In the Peak District alone, 20 million tonnes of carbon are stored in what are effectively carbon sinks. However, allowing blanket bogs to deteriorate into poor condition can mean they start to release more carbon than they take in. Without plant cover, huge amounts of carbon previously stored in the peat are released into the atmosphere and rivers. This is why it’s doubly important that we protect them.

By revegetating the areas of damaged blanket bogs, long term the project aims to:

 

• halt the erosion of peat from the moors

• reduce the loss of carbon

• increase the amount of carbon absorption

• turn the damaged carbon sources back into carbon sinks

 

Over time, as the condition of our peat bogs improve (and sphagnum mosses establish), the moors will once again start taking carbon in. If we can get our upland landscape into its best ecological condition, it will be able to withstand the shocks and stresses they face from our current changing climate - such as drought and wildfires - and provide an effective long-term tool in the fight towards lowering carbon emissions. If you think that layers of peatlands can contain more than twice the amount of carbon as forests, it’s easy to understand why we think this work is so important. 

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How can you help?

Peat moorlands cover 15% of the UK, but many have been dug up, drained or destroyed and the Peak District moorland landscape is now amongst the most degraded in Europe. Moors for the Future was founded in 2003 to fight back and so far, they’ve transformed nearly 8,000 acres of peat moors across the Peak District and South Pennines - but there is still much more work to be done. 

 

You can help restore our peat moorlands by donating to The Climate Project so this vital work can continue. It costs just £25 to plant one square meter of sphagnum and every donation will make a difference. At Cotswold Outdoor, we’re proud to have provided support to this project and encourage our customers to join us in helping this ongoing effort. Together we can make a big impact in the collective effort against one of our planet’s most urgent challenges. How big exactly? Remember, the effect revegetation and conservation of peatlands can have on carbon levels in the Peak District is the equivalent of planting 15,000 broadleaved trees annually.

To stay up to date with The Climate Project, including volunteering opportunities, you can also sign up as a Sphagnum Supporter.

The Climate Project is a campaign by the Access and Conservation Trust (ACT) of the British Mountaineering Council (BMC) in partnership with Moors for the Future and supported by Cotswold Outdoor.


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