We have used satellite data to produce a map of existing carbon storage in the Lake District. The shaded blocks show the average carbon stored in plants and soil per hectare. The darker the shading, the more carbon is stored.
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Tonnes of carbon stored per hectare
0 - 65 66 - 130 131 - 195 196 - 260 White: no data available
Peat and woodland are some of the Lake District's largest existing stores of carbon. The Lake District is estimated to already store:
22.9 million tonnes of carbon - equivalent to 84 million tonnes of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
You can find out more about carbon storage and sequestration in Lake District woodlands, and the carbon benefits from Lake District harvested wood products, in:
To mitigate climate change, these existing stores need to be protected. Many Lake District peat soils are very slowly depleting – releasing carbon back into the atmosphere because they are in poor condition.
It is estimated that Lake District peat soils are emitting 32,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year. When fully-functioning the existing store is protected and peatlands also sequester carbon (remove carbon dioxide from the atmosphere).
Woodland has the greatest potential for sequestration. To achieve this we need to manage our existing woodlands and increase the number of young woodlands where vigorous growth occurs. Planting a new native broadleaf woodland will sequester 336 tonnes of carbon dioxide per hectare planted over a 100 year period.
Ensuring harvested-wood has as long a life as possible, for example in wood products, or by substituting the burning of fossil fuels is further action we can take, after the wood has left the forest.
To put these figures into context, the carbon emissions from the activity of residents and visitors within the National Park is estimated to be 2.3 million tonnes of carbon dioxide per year. The Lake District National Park Partnership have set a target to reduce this figure by 23,000 tonnes each year.
So yes, the carbon store in Lake District peat and woodland - equivalent to 96.6 million tonnes of carbon dioxide – is very important. And the annual sequestration and carbon 'savings' from wood fuel and substitution of products – totaling 165,000 tonnes of carbon dioxide each year - really does help!
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 firstname.lastname@example.org