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National climate award for North Pennines AONB

Other posts by  |  Steve Smith on Google+ |  March 21, 2012 | 0 Comments

The North Pennines AONB Partnership’s Peatland Programme Manager Paul Leadbitter receives the Climate Week award from Lucy Neville Rolfe, main sponsor, Tesco’s Director of Group Corporate Affairs

The North Pennines AONB Partnership has won a top national award for the part it is playing in tackling the effects of climate change.

The Partnership’s Peatland Programme won the category ‘Best Initiative by a Local or Regional Body’ in the Climate Week Awards announced in London recently.

The Climate Week Awards recognise the most inspirational and impressive actions taking place in every sector of society. The judging panel contains figures such as the human rights activist, Bianca Jagger, the former President of Ireland, Mary Robinson, and the Bishop of London.

The AONB Partnership has restored over 6,800 hectares of blanket bog in the North Pennines. Degraded peatlands account for about 10 per cent of the world’s total annual carbon dioxide emissions. Peatland restoration is a simple and sustainable way of reducing global carbon dioxide emissions.

Taking core samples, Killhope, Co Durham

Taking core samples, Killhope, Co Durham

The North Pennines AONB Partnership’s current research effort is a National Peat Depth Survey which is pulling together existing data on peatland depth and carbon content and developing a simple survey method that will allow a better understanding about how much carbon is stored in our peatlands.

Climate Week is a national campaign to inspire a new wave of action on climate change. Showcasing real, practical ways to combat climate change, the campaign aims to renew the desire to create a more sustainable, low-carbon future.

Paul Leadbitter, the AONB Partnership’s Peatland Programme Manager, said: “It is a huge honour to have been chosen for this award from so many inspiring entries. Peatland restoration has long been overlooked as a cost-effective sustainable climate change mitigation technique and we are thrilled to be recognised for our work.”

Matthew Shepherd, Senior Environmental Specialist – Soil Biodiversity from partners Natural England said:  “We’re thrilled to have won this award with our partners at the North Pennines AONB Partnership – it really shows that the importance of our peatlands as valuable and vulnerable carbon stores is becoming recognised and appreciated, alongside their value for wildlife.  We wanted this project to bring both people and information together to improve our understanding of our peatlands and the carbon they store, and this fund of knowledge will only increase and grow as more partners and organisations get involved.”

For more information on the Partnership’s Peatland Programme, please contact Paul Leadbitter at the AONB Staff Unit on 01388 528801 ( or visit the AONB website at


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