The aim of this new blog is to communicate the research that I, and we at the University of Stirling, do on peatlands and environmental change. Peatlands are fascinating and really important ecosystems, but they’ve had a bad press over the years. Often viewed as wastelands, peatlands around the world have been drained and damaged. We are only now realising quite what a bad thing this has been. Peatlands are receiving increasing attention by scientists and policy makers due to the ammount of carbon they contain- equivalent to somewhere between half and all the CO2 in the atmosphere (depending on which estimate you use). Making sure all this carbon stays safely locked away in the peat in the future is a serious concern. We study the impacts on bogs of direct disturbances like drainage and afforestation and indirect impacts through climate change and pollution. I think peatlands are beautiful, fascinating ecosystems but the scale of that beauty is just different to other ecosystems- you have to look closely to appreciate the intricate beauty of Sphagnum moss or the wealth of weird and wonderful small creatures. I hope this bog will, in some small way, help more people to appreciate and value peatlands.