Peatland Code

OF&G certification offers a scheme to verify the climatic benefits of peatland restoration

The Peatland Code is a voluntary certification standard for restoring and protecting UK peatlands, which is often privately financed.

Landowners and projects with eligible peatland can take advantage of their natural capital, generating credits to sell in the carbon market to buyers seeking to offset their carbon emissions.

The Peatland Code ensures climate benefits being sold are genuine and quantifiable. It provides assurance to businesses and investors that projects monetising the restoration of peatlands, making carbon savings and emissions reductions, are valid and verified.

In March 2023, the IUCN UK Peatland Programme updated the Peatland Code to include lowland fen peatland, following a Defra review of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

Read more about the lowland fen peatland update.

Watch this video to learn more about the Peatland Code.


Why invest in peatland restoration?

Investing in peatland restoration now not only helps businesses offset unavoidable carbon impacts, but it also has far greater cost saving implications for the wider economy in relation to contributing to reversing climate change and reducing environmental degradation.

Nature can be compared to how the financial world works – if we take too much money from a bank we end up in debt or bankrupt. If natural ecosystems continue to be depleted without replenishment or allowing time to recover, we will be in ecological crises.

Conserving ecosystems sustainably can drive economic benefits and provide cost savings and forms the scope of natural capital investment from businesses.


Seven steps to Peatland Code registration

Step 1 - Establish eligibility

You can check if your project is eligible for the Peatland Code here.

It is recommended to consult with a project developer (which often incurs a fee) before embarking on Peatland Code registration.

As an indication, to be eligible for the Peatland Code, your project must meet the following criteria:

•    Peat soils must be greater than 30cm in depth for bogs (with additional requirements) and 45cm in fens

•    Peatland type must be blanket, raised bog or fen

•    Peatland condition must be ‘Actively Eroding’, ‘Drained’, ‘Modified bog’, ‘Cropland – drained’, ‘Grassland – intensive’, ‘Grassland - extensive’ or ‘Modified fen’

•    Restoration activities must not include forestry removal

•    Restoration must not be legally or contractually required

•    Project must be able to enter a minimum contract of 30 years

•    Restoration activities must not conflict with any other land management agreements

•    Project must be additional i.e. it must require carbon finance to take place

Step 2 - Register the project on the UK land carbon registry

If you are working with a project developer, they will register your project and create an account.

Once registered, you can find your project listed here.

Read more about Peatland Code registry and fees here.

Step 3 - Complete Peatland Code documentation

First, complete a field survey of the project site, to then complete the relevant documentation, of which the forms are listed below. More information can be found in the Peatland Code Field Protocol.



Further Peatland Code guidance can be found here.

Step 4 - Project plan validation

Contact an appointed certification body, such as OF&G, to carry out your project validation.

Validate your Peatland Code project with OF&G

·       OF&G has been directly involved in the development of the Peatland Code, having undertaken the pilot project for IUCN. We’ve in-depth understanding of the code and industry leading experience in the validation and verification of scheme projects

·       OF&G has a dedicated team of independent inspectors

·       OF&G works hard to ensure its voice is heard on behalf of you, our customers

·       OF&G offers practical, experienced guidance for your business

Contact us for more information.

Step 5 - Peatland restoration

Now it is time to start securing investment and restoration activity, as per your project design document.

The public register of Peatland Code projects allows potential buyers or brokers of carbon credits to find one that meets their requirements.

Marketing your project and peatland restoration benefits well can result in reaching a wider range of potential customers and achieving greater purchase value.

The IUCN UK Peatland Programme publish the price of voluntary carbon units in the UK purchased from Peatland Code projects here.

Step 6 - Restoration validation

You must arrange a one-off assessment once restoration work is complete and within the required timeframe carried out by an independent verification body, such as OF&G, to assess on-site restoration activity.

This will verify whether the project is delivering its planned restoration work against the standard, with anticipated emissions reductions adjusted, if applicable.

If requirements have been met, a restoration validation certificate will then be awarded, stating the appropriate emissions reductions and Pending Issuance Units (PIUs).

If PIUs were issued before restoration work started, these can be amended according to the restoration certificate.

Step 7 – Verification

Once the restoration activity has been completed and validated, regular verification audits will take place by the approved body, such as OF&G.

This will ensure the project continues to achieve the set expectations of each category change and delivers the expected GHG benefits over time.

Progress reports must also be submitted to the verification body.

Read more about Peatland Code registration here.

OF&G (Organic Farmers & Growers) have teamed up with the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) UK Peatland Programme to offer a new certification scheme to landowners that will support the protection and improvement of UK peatlands.

The Peatland Code sets out best practice for projects seeking to market the climate and environmental benefits of peatland restoration. It helps landowners secure private funding for projects, offering an additional revenue stream, by providing investors with assurance through third-party verification that expected climate benefits are credible and deliverable.

The Code works to protect the country’s 2.7m ha of peatlands, which store over three billion tonnes of carbon - the same amount stored in the forests of the UK, France and Germany combined - in the form of peat soil.

When the surface of peatland is damaged, either through draining, livestock grazing or peat mining, it can release carbon in the form of greenhouse gases until steps are taken to restore the land.

While 80% of the UK’s peatland is currently damaged, peatland restoration can save between two and 19 tonnes of carbon per hectare per year, which is where the Code will help.

Agri-environment schemes and grant-aided projects go some way to funding restoration, but many projects require private investment via the UK’s voluntary carbon market.

OF&G was the first body to be authorised by the IUCN to provide validation and verification to the Peatland Code.


To find out more please contact OF&G at 01939 291800 or write to us at