Peat-cutting ban: Tynwald closes only Manx public turbary – BBC News

Tynwald has approved the closure of the only Manx public turbary, effectively banning the cutting of peat from public land on the Isle of Man.

The closure, coupled with the government’s policy not to allow peat extraction from its lands, means no public turf can now be cut.

Turbaries, areas where peat can be cut by rights owners, have been been used to supply heating fuel for many years.

Manx Wildlife Trust (MWT) said using peat as fuel was “no longer necessary”.

Department of Environment, Food and Agriculture Minister Geoffrey Boot said the ban would “play a small part in helping to prevent the further release of climate change gases” caused by the burning of the fuel.

The banning of peat cutting was one of a raft of pledges made by the government to reduce carbon emissions on the island to net-zero by 2050.

MWT’s Sarah Hickey said peat was “the least carbon efficient fossil fuel” and its use was “no longer necessary”.

“The cutting of peat was one of the causes of degradation of peat habitats and the loss of much of the island’s blanket bog,” she said.

“Restoration of peatlands is recognised as an important way to reduce carbon emissions, retain the large amount of carbon stored in the peat and improve peatland habitats.”

The conservation charity is currently carrying out a project to map the depth and extent of peat on more than 1,000 hectares of upland and lowland on the island.

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