Farmers and landowners in Scotland have been offered new advice to help them access funding for peatland protection and restoration projects.

Healthy peatlands play a vital role in tackling climate change by locking in massive amounts of carbon, according to the online advice [PDF] launched by the Scottish government-funded Farm Advisory Service (FAS).

It quoted figures suggesting that more than 20% of Scottish soils were peat-based and stored 1.7bn tonnes of carbon.

But about 80% of peatland north of the border is degraded and releasing potent greenhouse gases such as methane into the atmosphere.