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RSPB Scotland welcomes refusal of peat extraction in Fife

Last modified: 08 December 2015

Green sphagnum moss

This Sphagnum moss would thrive on Mossmorran if the bog was restored. Sphagnum holds water, forms peat and locks in carbon as the bog grows.

Image: naturegirl 78

RSPB Scotland welcomed the announcement today that a locally rare peatland habitat in Central Fife will not be damaged by further extraction.

No peat has been extracted at Mossmorran for more than twenty years, but last November Everris Ltd submitted a planning application requesting a ten-year license to work the 76-hectare site. RSPB Scotland, the Scottish Wildlife Trust, Forestry Commission Scotland and the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency all lodged official objections to the application, while Scottish National Heritage advised that the proposal contradicted Scottish Planning Policy.

Fife Council refused the application in July. However, in October Everris Ltd lodged an appeal to Scottish Ministers to overturn this decision. It was announced today that the appeal has been refused by the reporter.

Claire Smith is RSPB Scotland’s Conservation Officer for Fife. She said: “We welcome the reporter’s decision, particularly that they recognised that it was contradictory to Scottish Planning Policy on peatlands which includes a presumption to protect and restore this habitat. This decision shows how useful it is to have robust national polices that protect Scotland’s environment. Peatlands play a huge role in the fight to tackle climate change as well as flood alleviation.”

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