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Climate change pressures

We need to ensure that ecosystems in the National Park are resilient to the effects that climate change is bringing to our native biodiversity and wider environment. These ecosystems can also help mitigate climate change by maintaining carbon stores, sequestering carbon, and storing surface water. The National Park’s peatlands hold an estimated 20 million tonnes of carbon and our forests hold another 2.5 million tonnes.

Local land managers will need to adapt to a changing climate and can help mitigate against it by embracing technologies and practises that capture carbon. By taking a more integrated approach to land use planning, we can also help deliver significant adaptation to and resilience against climate change for our communities and wildlife.

The National Park is seen as a place to demonstrate and pilot innovative approaches to managing these habitats with partnerships between private and public land interests, industry, public bodies, third sector organisations, and local communities. Over decades our moorlands have been drained and eroded. We need to block those drainage systems, halt the erosion, and cover bare peat to retain water in the hills for longer. This can reduce the risk of flooding in the lowlands and move towards restoring healthy peatlands that are capturing, rather than emitting, carbon-based greenhouse gases. Our woodlands and forests are important stores of carbon, timber, and biodiversity and an expansion of woodlands will increase the value of these natural resources. These habitats provide multiple public benefits. Investment in this natural capital is a key target at a local, regional and national level. We need to focus on creating areas of native woodland and improving existing native woodland condition by reducing grazing or removing INNS, to enable a wider and more resilient woodland habitat network.

The objectives detailed below link to the indicators of success as detailed within the National Park Partnership Plan and aim to support delivery on the ground to help achieve these key indicators.

Objectives by 2023

  • Woodland creation:
    • Implement the Trees & Woodland Strategy for the National Park leading to increased woodland creation and carbon capture.
  • Peatland restoration:
    • Reduce carbon and water flows through restoration of peat bogs and raise awareness of the value of peatlands in the climate emergency.
    • Increase the public’s understanding and appreciation of the value of peatland habitats by working in partnership to host public events and talks, visitor centre displays and increasing volunteering opportunities to get involved in improving peatland habitats e.g. constructing peat dams, removal of INNS, surveys and the Mountains and the People project.
  • Resilience:
    • Pilot the use and management of trees, woodlands, peatlands and waterways upstream to reduce the risk of downstream flooding.
    • Work with land managers to protect and enhance soils, and remove INNS in order to increase resilience to climate change impacts.
    • Investigate natural flood management options to alleviate flooding in Aberfoyle, Callander and in the Loch Lomond catchment.
    • Promote the management of designated sites which move these protected areas towards favourable condition.
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