Birker Fell copyright Nick Thorne

Carbon and Land Management

Why manage land for carbon?

The UK Land Use, Land Use Change and Forestry sector removed 3.8 million tonnes of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere in 2010. This is because soils and vegetation are a major store of carbon, with plants 'locking up' carbon as they grow.

If more carbon is sequestered (removed from the atmosphere) to be stored in soils and vegetation than is emitted from the land into the atmosphere, it is known as a carbon sink. And land management directly influences these carbon movements – called fluxes. Therefore there is great potential for land management to play a role in mitigating climate change.

To put the significance of this into perspective, there is more than double the amount of carbon stored in the world's soil and vegetation than in its atmosphere. 

Latest news

Our publication Managing land for carbon (PDF) is now available.

What are we doing?

Information and advice

We are working with the University of Cumbria to produce information and advice on managing land for carbon. This is a knowledge transfer partnership.

We have produced an information booklet for farmers and their advisors. Managing land for carbon (PDF) is designed around different types of habitat. It explains which actions help to store carbon, and which increase greenhouse gas emissions. It also has a simple table to guide you step-by-step in estimating the carbon already stored on your farm.

If you would like a paper copy please email

Involving land managers

We have been working with land managers, their representatives and advisors to discuss how we can increase carbon land management in the Lake District. We've also discussed how this is best undertaken to fit with existing land management businesses.  

A carbon map

We have produced a map of the existing carbon store in Lake District soils and vegetation using satellite data. It is available on our Carbon in the Lake District landscape page.

Farm examples

We will be using real case studies to look at carbon benefits already being delivered on Lake District farms. We will also look at the typical carbon management that could be undertaken on Lake District farms, and exploring:

  • the carbon benefit this would provide and
  • importantly, the impact it might have on the business

Local data and carbon finance

We are the lead member of the Carbon Landscapes Partnership which is working to:

  • improve our information on carbon storage in peat soils and woodlands - find out more in Carbon in the Lake District landscape
  • look at options for increasing financial support for managing land for carbon
  • demonstrate the benefits of managing land for carbon

View a list of the members of the Carbon Landscapes Partnership (Word document).

We have assessed options for increasing financial support for managing land for carbon. The background and options can be found in North West Carbon Market Potential (PDF). The Carbon Landscapes Partnership are continuing work in this area to take these options forward.

Contact us

We want to work with land managers to develop together how carbon land management can be a greater part of our landscape. If you would like to be involved in this process, please contact

Related pages

In association with:

Link to University of Cumbria website
Link to Knowledge Transfer Partnerships websiteLink to Technology Strategy Board website