The charm of peat bogs goes far beyond their appearance.
These middle landscapes play a fundamental role in the water cycle. It is no coincidence that in the 1700s they were described and defined as real sponges: they have the incredible ability to filter and purify water so efficiently as to be able to remove most of the pollutants and provide clean and drinkable water. But that’s not all. They are able to retain large quantities of water and slowly and progressively return it to the adjacent hydrological systems. In this way they participate in the regulation of surface water levels and also in that of groundwater, drastically reducing the possibility of floods.
The versatility of peat: one material, a thousand uses
Even peat, as such, performs very important functions and has always been used both in industry and agriculture. Its filtering capacity makes it perfect for use in wastewater treatment plants. In the past it was used as a fossil fuel, especially for domestic heating, while today it is employed used primarily as a nursery substrate in agriculture.
A very particular use of peat is, for example, in the smoking of salmon and in the production of peated scotch whisky, with a characteristic flavour and aroma.
The importance of conservation in nature
A precious casket with incredible properties, from which man has drawn for centuries.
The multiple uses offered by peat bogs involve great risks for their conservation in nature. Their protection is therefore of primary importance. Although they occupy only 3% (considerably decreased over time) of the earth’s surface, they play a decisive role in regulating CO2 emissions: they alone store twice as much carbon as forests.
Protecting them means protecting the entire Earth ecosystem.