The Scottish Greens are calling for an end to environmentally destructive peat extraction at Nutberry Moss, Lochwood Moss and Hillhouse Farm and a just transition for the workers to provide them with alternative employment.


Dumfries & Galloway Council Planning Committee have refused the application to extend the peat extraction licence for Lochwood Moss. The Hillhouse Farm planning application has been withdrawn by the applicant.

Lead candidate for Holyrood 2021 Laura Moodie said: "I'd like to thank the hundreds of folk who signed our e-action, the scores who wrote in to object to the scheme, the activists and environmental groups who made and changed representations and all who spoke up against this plan. 

“The planning system is just one of many tools communities have to hold politicians and councils to account and support the implementation of climate emergency declarations and climate action. I very much hope this sets a precedent for similar applications, including at Nutberry Moss. Peat use should be phased out and Scotland's precious peatland restored.”

There is now just one proposal left - Operator ICL still wishes to extend operations for ten years at Nutberry Moss. This would enable mining to continue into the 2030s, removing hundreds of thousands of cubic metres of peat. The peat extracted is chiefly for use in horticulture. This is despite the fact that peat extraction destroys valuable habitats and contributes to climate breakdown.

Scottish Greens, environmental groups and activists have expressed dismay at Dumfries & Galloway Council’s decision not to require an environmental impact assessment for the planned applications to extend peat extraction licences.

Laura Moodie, Scottish Green Party lead candidate for the South of Scotland region, said “It’s nonsensical for Dumfries and Galloway Council to declare a climate emergency but give a free pass on removing an essential carbon store. It is even more absurd to grant licence extensions to remove peat at a time when the government claims to be committed to its restoration." 

In a 2014 planning appeal relating to Nutberry Moss, the Reporter quite rightly decided that ending the extraction license in 2024 would: ‘Provide an opportunity in 10 years’ time to review the possibility of safeguarding the residual peat as carbon storage in the interest of mitigating the effects of climate change.’

We strongly recommend that Dumfries and Galloway Council, the Scottish Government and ICL take this opportunity to carry out that review, particularly in light of the commitment to restoring peatland across Scotland, and halt any extensions to peat extraction licences in Dumfries & Galloway.

The Scottish Greens are calling for ICL to use the four years remaining of its existing licence at Nutberry Moss to plan for a just transition for their workers to employment in the production of peat-free growing media and to end peat extraction inf Dumfries & Galloway.

Please submit an objection to the Council’s planning committee today to ensure your voice is heard on this important issue. To object, email The reference for Nutberry Moss is 20/0660/S42.

Want to do something positive to promote peatlands? Elsewhere in Dumfries & Galloway, the Langholm Initiative is fundraising for a community buyout of Langholm Moor, where the community group plan to protect and restore the peatland. You can find out more here:

You can also find out the latest about the campaign by listening to our podcasts about peat, or 'PeatCasts', which are available here.

Support our campaign to stop peat extraction

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