Paludiculture, or farming with high water tables, is a system of agriculture for the profitable production of wetland crops under conditions that support the competitive advantage of these crops. While the term “paludiculture” is a recent one, its practice in England goes back generations.
In the context of lowland peat soils, paludiculture takes place through raising of the water table to achieve wetland conditions. Paludiculture offers a potential solution for maintaining the profitable use of lowland peatland whilst significantly reducing the greenhouse gas emissions associated with their current (dryland) agricultural use. In 2020, emissions from drained agricultural peatlands in England were estimated at 8.5 million tonnes carbon dioxide equivalents, around 3% of England’s emissions.
Within the Nature for Climate Fund, Natural England is delivering the Paludiculture Exploration Fund (PEF) for England. The Paludiculture Community provides a hub for the 12 PEF projects and also enables information and resources to be shared amongst all individuals and organisations interested in Paludiculture.
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