The Flow Country in the far north of Scotland is home to the largest, intact blanket peat bog in Europe. It stores 400 million tonnes of carbon - more than double the amount of all UK forests and woodlands. An important wildlife habitat for many rare species, it is being considered for UNESCO world heritage designation.
Peatlands have a remarkable ability to store carbon, if kept in a healthy condition. But without restoration the Flow Country risks contributing to, rather than helping to reverse, climate change. The Flow Country Green Finance Initiative (FCGFI) is a locally-led initiative to raise money to restore peatlands at scale. They aim to deliver ecological restoration, sustainable land use and support circular business through an innovative community carbon investment model.
With the hope of using world heritage site status (if inscribed) as the catalyst for upscaling private investment into restoration, investment into FCGFI will help achieve key net-zero climate goals for Scotland - reducing emissions and sequestering carbon - and achieve socio-economic benefits for the local community, developing high quality jobs and circular business.
A Four-Spotted Chaser dragonfly, Libellula quadrimaculata, at rest, Forsinard Nature Reserve, Flow Country, Scotland ©espy3008, Adobe Stock
The Flow Country has been identified as a scalable project, using a landscape-scale, blended finance investment model, co-designed with the Flow Country Partnership. The Landscape Finance Lab is supporting the establishment of a Scottish Community Interest organization (SCIO) - a legal structure that will ensure long-term community benefits from the income generated from carbon credit returns resulting from peatland restoration. By taking a holistic approach beyond carbon, supporting biodiversity, green jobs and community wellbeing in a historically and culturally significant landscape, the FCGFI hopes to achieve above market-rate returns on carbon credits.
© Graham Neville/NatureScot
Wetlands & Peatlands
Carbon storage and/or sequestration
Payment for Ecosystem Services Programmes
Green economy landscape
Ecosystem restoration landscape
Sustainable Development Goals