An upcoming film from The Top Of The Tree

Peat moorland covers four hundred thousand hectares of UK uplands. It is a tremendous natural asset, but has been severely degraded in recent years. 

Healthy peat moorland works as a sink for atmospheric carbon. Degraded peat moorland actively releases greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere.  

The UK's peat moorlands are currently so degraded that they release 16 million tonnes of CO2 (equivalent) a year - enough CO2e to completely undermine 50% of our annual efforts to reduce national greenhouse gas emissions from all other sources .

The consensus between scientists and moorland managers is that, properly managed, peat moorland can provide a multitude of services simultaneously: sheep can be grazed; wild game can thrive; biodiversity can flourish; water can be stored to alleviate the threat of flooding and of drought; water is naturally filtered to provide cleaner drinking water; and carbon dioxide can be actively sequestered from the atmosphere.  

However, the only subsidies currently available for managing this land are for either agriculture or biodiversity; these things are rarely achieved effectively, yet that is all that it receives.  

It doesn’t have to stay that way. This land could be managed for tremendous public benefit.  

Prioritise management of the land for carbon-capture. Combat climate change, and every other benefit can be achieved to it’s highest possible potential.

Take Action on Carbon

We have the chance to take action on the Paris Agreement and secure a better climate and better future. But only if we know what we're aiming for.

Prioritise Carbon Sequestration

Halt substantial greenhouse gas emissions from degraded moorland

As much as double our annual efforts in reducing national greenhouse gas emissions

Actively capture and store CO2 from the atmosphere

Establish healthy ecosystems, and see further benefits cascading through all other functions of moorland

The Carbon Farmer is currently in production with official support from 

National Trust
The IUCN National Committee for the United Kingdom Peatland Programme
The Wildlife Trusts
Beadamoss (R) Sustainably Produced Sphagnum
National Trust For Scotland
Moors For The Future Partnership

The Carbon Farmer is a film from The Top Of The Tree Written and Directed by Andy Clark, Ecologist and Filmmaker, The Top Of The Tree, with collaboration from Richard Lindsay, Head of Environmental and Conservation Research, University of East London. 

With thanks to other contributors to knowledge*:  

Clifton Bain IUCN NCUK Peatland Programme

Rob Stoneman Yorkshire Wildlife Trust

Jillian Hoy Peatland Code Coordinator, IUCN NCUK Peatland Programme 

Stuart Brooks Head of Natural Heritage Conservation Policy, The National Trust for Scotland

Stephen Trotter Director England and Living Landscapes, The Wildlife Trusts

Professor Chris Evans Centre for Ecology and Hydrology

Dr Marta Santamaria Technical Director, Natural Capital Coalition 

Amanda Anderson Director, The Moorland Association 

Sam Druham Chief Land Management Advisor, NFU 

Sarah Robinson Assistant Director, Hope For The Future 

Jon Stewart General Manager, Peak District, National Trust

Chris Wood Land Management and Conservation Advisor, National Trust 

Ian Rotherham British Ecological Society Special Interest Group for Peatlands  

Andrew Bauer Deputy Director of Policy, NFU Scotland

Dr Pat Thompson Senior Policy Officer (Uplands), RSPB 

Peter Melchett Policy Director, The Soil Association

Davie Black Conservation Manager, Plantlife Scotland 

Sarah Palmer, Agri & PR Manager, National Federation of Young Farmers' Clubs 

Professor Joe Holden University of Leeds  

Graeme Willis Senior Rural Policy Campaigner, Campaign To Protect Rural England

Olly Watts RSPB

Alison Hallas Policy & Advocacy Officer, Ramblers

Stephen Russell Ramblers 

Ben McCarthy Director fo Strategy, Plantlife 

Julia Martin-Ortega Univeristy of Leeds 

Tom Bliss Univeristy of Leeds and United Bank of Carbon  

Anne Gray Senior Policy Officer, Scottish Land and Estates  

Ed Lawrence Catchment Partnership Officer, United Utilities 

Professor Steve Ormerod Cardiff University

Max Wakefield Lead Campaigner, 10:10

Matt Williams Conservationist and Wildlife Photographer 

Ben Eagle Environmental and Agricultural Writer and Blogger

Adele Jones External Relations Manager, Sustainable Food Trust 

*Credit as a Contirbutor of Knowledge does not represent official endorsement of The Carbon Farmer film or any of the themes discussed therein, on behlaf or the individual nor any afiliated organisation. Simply, Contributors to Knowledge have been contacted by Producer Andy Clark as a part of research for this production, and their views taken into account. 


a film from The Top Of The Tree