State of knowledge on UK agricultural peatlands for food production and the net zero transition

Lloyd, Isobel L.; Thomas, Virginia; Ofoegbu, Chidiebere; Bradley, Andrew V.; Bullard, Paddy; D'Acunha, Brenda; Delaney, Beth; Driver, Helen; Evans, Chris D.; Faulkner, Katy J.; Fonvielle, Jeremy A.; Francksen, Richard M.; Friday, Laurie E.; Hose, Gemma; Kaduk, Joerg; Manning, Francesca Re; Morrison, Ross ORCID:; Novo, Paula; Page, Susan E.; Rhymes, Jennifer M. ORCID:; Hudson, Megan; Balzter, Heiko. 2023 State of knowledge on UK agricultural peatlands for food production and the net zero transition. Sustainability, 15 (23), 16347. 14, pp.

Before downloading, please read NORA policies.
N536335JA.pdf - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution 4.0.

Download (626kB) | Preview


Agricultural peatlands are the most productive soils in the UK for the cultivation of many food crops. Historical drainage of peat for agriculture (i.e., cropland and managed grassland), without consideration of other associated environmental and climatic impacts, has resulted in a significant emission of greenhouse gases (GHGs). There is a need to reduce GHG emissions without compromising the rural economy and jeopardizing food security in the UK to a greater extent than is currently being experienced. In March 2023, in a bid to identify alternative land management systems for agricultural peatlands to support the UK’s commitment to achieving net zero GHG emissions by 2050, a group of forty investigators met at a workshop convened by the AgriFood4NetZero Network+. The workshop reviewed the state of knowledge surrounding the Fens of Eastern England and their importance for food provision, the economy, cultural identity, and climate change mitigation. A broad consensus emerged for research into how GHG emissions from agricultural peatlands could be reduced, whether alternative farming methods, such as seasonal farming or paludiculture, would offer a solution, and how a localized approach for the Fens could be defined. The development of a holistic, inclusive, and plausible land use scenario that considers all aspects of ecosystem services provided by the Fens is urgently needed.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Hydro-climate Risks (Science Area 2017-)
Soils and Land Use (Science Area 2017-)
ISSN: 20711050
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: Open Access paper - full text available via Official URL link.
Additional Keywords: agriculture, greenhouse gas emissions, peatland, drainage, paludiculture, land management, the Fens
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
Agriculture and Soil Science
Date made live: 05 Dec 2023 13:07 +0 (UTC)

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item

Document Downloads

Downloads for past 30 days

Downloads per month over past year

More statistics for this item...