Natural Capital Synthesis Report Project - Afforested Peatlands

Richard Payne, University of York

Natural capital trade‐offs in afforested peatlands 

Summary report now available - download here

Full report - download here



From the author:

"For decades the UK's peatlands were viewed as wastelands without any economic use, but viewing them through the lens of natural capital shows how valuable they really are."


Project summary

Between the 1940s and the 1980s large areas of open peatlands were planted with non-native conifers. With many plantations reaching harvesting age pressing questions concern what should be done with them now. Options include further commercial forestry, restoring them to open bog and middle-way options which attempt to retain trees on peat without the expectation of a commercial timber yield. Key to these decisions are trade-offs between economic capital and alternative forms of natural capital. This project aims to synthesise evidence needed for decision-making and identify key outstanding research questions.

Photograph by George Dey, presented by permission from the University of Aberdeen and courtesy of Norman Davidson and 


Presentation introducing project ideas:

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