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C N Do Scotland’s Carbon Conservation Scheme Celebrates First Project

An exemplary carbon conservation scheme, developed by Wild Scotland member CNDo Scotland, a walking holiday company, and the National Trust for Scotland (NTS) is celebrating its second year on the island of Arran.  

There is much written about carbon offsetting.  The amount of CO2 emitted by human activities, such as air transport, can be calculated. What is more difficult to calculate is the equivalent amount of carbon stored by ‘offsetting’ measures and the timescale over which this takes place. That is why this project on Arran has been called a carbon conservation project – we stress that the carbon benefits are not necessarily ‘equivalent’ to a certain number of air miles travelled.

A transparent, easily understood verification system has yet to be identified. What is transparent and easily understood is that we must look after our soils.  The peat in Scotland’s soils represents a huge store of trapped carbon – arguably, one of the most significant peat bog carbon stores in the world.  If this is allowed to dry out and break down, the carbon will be released to the atmosphere, thereby contributing to global warming.  As a means of conserving both the soil and carbon, NTS and CNDo Scotland established its Carbon Conservation Scheme.

In January 2007, CNDo Scotland and the NTS jointly launched an appeal for donations towards the first project: the restoration of peat bogs on Arran.

Work commenced on the project in August 2007 at NTS Goatfell property, with volunteers damming and blocking drains on the damaged upland peat bog in Coire a’ Bhradhain.  The first phase of restoration work has now been completed. 

Kate Sampson, NTS Head Ranger on Arran commented: 
“The NTS conservation volunteers made real progress in this important work, demonstrating that simple methods of damming the drains are successful.  As the group worked, they could see with their own eyes the dams controlling the water, immediately stopping the peat from drying out, re-creating the boggy conditions and so promoting the growth of specialist bog species such as sphagnum mosses, sundews and bog cotton grass.  The Carbon Conservation Scheme set up through CNDo has been integral to the project, raising awareness as well as much-needed funds, and encouraging individuals, and hopefully businesses, to get involved in doing something about their carbon footprint.”

Managing Director of CNDo, Margaret Porter, said:
“This first project is based on upland peat habitat restoration with the National Trust for Scotland on the Island of Arran. In the Scottish climate, peat represents the most important store of carbon.  NTS is at the forefront of environmental conservation in Scotland.  So what better than to join together to promote a project which ‘puts a little back’ into caring for our heritage and helps to reduce CO2 emissions?  In addition, people can get actively involved by joining one of the work parties carrying out the work.”

Anyone can get involved with the project to make a donation or to join a conservation group.  By contributing to the project, as an individual or as a business, you can reduce the carbon impacts of your travel and energy costs.  All donations go towards the project: there are no administration charges as CNDo provides its time for free to help get people involved.   CNDo has, and will continue to, donate in relation to their total business travel mileage and energy costs and will be introducing the same for travel mileage of their walkers in 2009.

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