Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) is encouraging people to celebrate World Wetlands Day on Sunday February 2 with a visit to one of Scotland’s wonderful wetland sites. From the far north, through the central belt, to the Solway coast, Scotland is home to an internationally important range of these special places, including bogs, marshes, swamps, fens, springs and flushes, and wet heaths.
During the Year of Coasts and Waters 2020, SNH is highlighting the undiscovered beauty of our wetland habitats, as well as how crucial they are for the many services they provide. In addition to being home to a great many birds, mammals, amphibians, insects and plants, our wetlands help to manage water levels and prevent floods, store large amounts of water which can keep rivers flowing during dry periods – all while filtering out pollutants. Also important is their capacity to capture and store carbon, making wetlands a vital carbon sink and a nature-based solution to some of the effects of climate change. SNH is working to protect and restore our vulnerable wetlands, making them more resilient to climate change and other threats, through projects such as PeatlandACTION and the Biodiversity Challenge Fund.
Deborah Spray, SNH Wetland Ecology Adviser, said: “Wetlands may not seem the most glamorous of habitats, but they are real undiscovered gems, wonderful places that are home to a huge range of wildlife and are so important for our ecosystems and society, from providing clean water to storing carbon.
“Above all our wetlands are fantastic places to explore, so why not visit your local site this World Wetlands Day to take in the natural beauty, spot wildlife and appreciate these special places and everything they do for us.”