Growing celery on rewet peatland could prevent carbon being released, researchers claim.
Celery is a crop that can deal with high levels of water and by being planted on boglands, there is a hope that the water will trap the carbon below the surface and stop it being emitted.
The Lancashire Wildlife Trust has started trialling this – blocking up peatlands with water to see how much carbon is contained.
Similar tests are ongoing in the Fens in Cambridgeshire, however, using cattails – which are also very tolerant to highly wet conditions.
However, as opposed to just looking to contain carbon, the cattails will eventually be used to insulate homes and make biodegradable food packaging.
Peatlands occupy just 3% of the global land surface but they store approximately 650 billion tonnes of carbon.
Previous research by the University of Leicester stressed that managing the water within peatlands would not only help Britain’s agriculture but its fight against climate change.
“Better water management in peatlands offers a potential win-win – lower greenhouse gas emissions, improved soil health, extended agricultural lifetimes and reduced flood risk,” Professor Sue Page said, who worked on the study.