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Providing evidence to improve practice

Action: Lobby, campaign or demonstrate to protect peatlands Peatland Conservation

Key messages

Read our guidance on Key messages before continuing

  • Two studies evaluated the effects of lobbying/campaigning/demonstrating for peatland protection on knowledge, behaviour, peatland habitats or peatland vegetation. Both studies reported effects, on unspecified peatlands, of the same campaign in the UK.
  • Peatland protection (2 studies): Two studies in the UK reported that the area of protected peatland increased following pressure from a campaign group.
  • Behaviour change (1 study): One study in the UK reported that following pressure from a campaign group, major retailers stopped buying compost containing peat from important peatland areas and horticultural companies began marketing peat-free compost.
  • Attitudes/awareness (1 study): One study in the UK reported that following campaign pressure, garden centres and local governments signed peatland conservation agreements.

Supporting evidence from individual studies

1 

A study of peatlands in the UK (Barkham 1993) reported that following a campaign involving multiple individual events, one new area was protected for conservation, seven large businesses changed their purchasing and marketing behaviour to reduce peat extraction, and over 300 organizations signed voluntary agreements to protect peatlands. Within three years of campaigning, protection was granted to 365 ha of peatland (with protection of another 1,134 ha in discussion). Four major retailers stopped buying compost with peat mined from protected areas. Three horticultural companies began marketing non-peat compost alternatives (e.g. coconut fibre compost). Voluntary peatland conservation agreements were signed by 250 garden centres and 51 local governments. The study qualitatively reports some other changes in behaviour, attitudes and awareness. The campaign was run by the Peatlands Campaign Consortium, whose activities included meetings with businesses, debates with governmental organizations, and public awareness-raising (see Background section).

2 

A study of peatlands in the UK (Alexander et al. 2008) reported that following pressure from the Peatlands Campaign Consortium, a major peat extraction company donated 3,000 ha of peatland to the English governmental nature conservation body. Campaigning began in 1990 and the peatland was donated in 1992. The campaign was run by the Peatlands Campaign Consortium, whose activities included meetings with businesses, debates with governmental organizations, and public awareness-raising (see Background section). The study does not report how the campaign was related to the donation.

 

Referenced papers

Please cite as:

Taylor N.G., Grillas P. & Sutherland W.J. (2018) Peatland Conservation. Pages 329-392 in: W.J. Sutherland, L.V. Dicks, N. Ockendon, S.O. Petrovan & R.K. Smith (eds) What Works in Conservation 2018. Open Book Publishers, Cambridge, UK.