Valuing Peatlands


Assessing and valuing peatland ecosystem services for sustainable management

Peatlands provide vital services to society. They mitigate climate change, provide clean water and support biodiversity & tourism - but they are under threat.

Peatlands are an ideal case study for valuing nature research, given the growing evidence linking ecosystem functions, services and markets in peatlands.

The Valuing Peatlands project established a network of people from a wide range of different research areas and held three stakeholder workshops alongside a series of face-to-face and virtual writing workshops.

End of project summary poster



The Valuing Peatlands project aims to:

1. Use UK peatlands as a policy-relevant case study to:

  • Identify options for valuing changes to stocks and flows of multiple ecosystem services in complex socio-ecological systems using both monetary and non-monetary approaches.

    Review the scientific evidence base re: effects of peatland management on the processes that control delivery of ecosystem goods and services, consider the spatial distribution of ecosystem services in relation to management pressures & beneficiaries and potential trade-offs between provisioning, regulating, supporting and cultural services (VNN challenges 1-3).

    Using this information to work towards identifying where restoration or conservation of peatlands would result in greatest net benefits (VNN challenges 1 and 3).

  • Consider how this information might affect the design of financial mechanisms to lever investment in the provision of climate mitigation and adaptation

    Review available regulatory and institutional frameworks for peatland Payment for Ecosystem Service (PES) schemes, and consider how different approaches to PES may influence uptake of peatland restoration and other forms of sustainable management, and how such schemes could minimise trade-offs between ecosystem services at a range of scales (VNN challenges 3 and 4).

    Develop a roadmap for peatland Greenhouse Gas accounting and peatland carbon markets in the UK (VNN challenge 4).

2. Develop a peatland hub in which researchers and members of the practitioner and policy community can effectively communicate and work together to better understand the value of peatlands and manage them more sustainably.



Read the final report here

Project publications

Overview of project findings: Valuing peatland ecosystem services for sustainable management (ESCOM blog, August 2014)

Special section in Ecosystem Services:


Other outputs


Professor Mark Reed discusses valuing peatland ecosystem services for sustainable management (ESCOM blog)

Why companies should be paying to protect ecosystems (Guardian Sustainable Business Blog, 2013)

Public engagement

Media coverage in the Guardian linked to Walshaw Estate story