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The RSPB works with different organisations across the UK to deliver restoration projects that breathe new life into our nature reserves, improve facilities for visitors and generate employment for the local community.

Support for Scotland's peatlands

Peatlands are an integral part of Scotland’s natural landscape, accounting for almost a quarter of the country’s land area. These unique landscapes have been forming for thousands of years, during which time dead plant matter has accumulated and created deep layers of peat that store vast amounts of carbon.

These peatlands play a crucial role in mitigating climate change, as they capture and store millions of tonnes of carbon (mainly CO2) that would otherwise be released into the atmosphere. Healthy peatlands also play a critical role in flood regulation, water quality, and support biodiversity. Sadly, their intrinsic ecological value has not always been well-recognised. Historically, peatlands were extensively drained or burned, and ultimately damaged in a way that caused them to release carbon into the atmosphere.

Peatland ACTION is a project funded by the Scottish Government, that is dedicated to helping restore damaged peatlands across Scotland. Since Peatland ACTION’s inception in 2012, the RSPB has been awarded over £2 million, which has been directed towards surveying and restoring these important peatland landscapes.

Numerous sites - ranging from our nature reserves on Islay (The Oa and Loch Gruinart), up to Shetland (Yell) and Orkney (Birsay Moors), across the Highlands (Corrimony and Abernethy), and at the heart of the Flow Country (Forsinard Flows) - have benefitted dramatically from Peatland ACTION’s support over the years. The project has also supported our work with landowners, outwith the RSPB’s reserve boundaries, including work at Tardoes Farm (in East Ayrshire) and Moss of Kinmundy (in Aberdeenshire).

More information on Peatland ACTION 

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Bempton Cliffs Seabird Discovery Centre

The striking Bempton Cliffs in Yorkshire tower over the North Sea and, between March and October, provide a natural habitat for England’s largest population of seabirds. This project, funded through the Coastal Communities Fund and the National Lottery Heritage Fund, delivered an extension and refurbishment of the Bempton Cliffs visitor centre. The work involved adding new spaces for exhibitions and activities, better toilet facilities, an improved car park and office and kitchen space for staff and volunteers. The site has also extended its visiting season and launched a programme of new activities. Overall, the transformation has had a considerable impact, creating jobs, supporting local businesses and increasing the number of annual visitors by over 40,000.

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A new visitor centre in Sherwood Forest

The RSPB and its partners recently finished a major project at the Sherwood Forest Nature Reserve, Nottinghamshire’s famous ancient woodland and home to the legend of Robin Hood. The work included the construction of a new car park and visitor centre – an ambitious project designed to generate new jobs, revenue and attract new visitors. The new centre is now open and is a fantastic base for visitors to explore the surrounding trails, learn about local wildlife or stop off at the café and shop. The previous visitor centre was also demolished as part of this project and the area it occupied restored back to natural woodland.

The Sherwood Forest Visitor Centre and National Nature Reserve project sought investment from the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership Local Growth Fund to the value of £500,000 and was led by the RSPB in partnership with Nottinghamshire County Council. Along with the RSPB, a consortium of partners (Sherwood Forest Trust, Thoresby Estate and Continuum Attractions) joined together to deliver the city council's vision.

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