A global wetlands expert has called on the Scottish Government to develop peatland restoration as “a new rural industry“.

Hans Schutten, programme head of Climate-smart Land Use at Wetlands International, said: “I believe that this should be a new rural industry and that the government should focus to facilitate that. How do we benefit communities? How do we create more jobs? That’s what Scotland and the Scottish Government should think a little bit more.”

That industry, he said, should be “set up for the people that live in the rural economy”, and have, at it’s heart, “a different way of looking after our land, in which we can make value for the communities and for the young people that live there”.

Among the ways, he said, UK and Scottish Government should facilitate it, he said, are by “priming the pipeline”.