All for the love of peat

RE-PEAT a youth-led collective pushing for a peatland paradigm shift

We want to challenge ourselves, the peat community and others to start re-imagining a different future for peatlands. To go beyond the capitalist and colonial system that many of us were born into and open up our minds for new possibilities. To fight injustices such as racism, sexism, ableism, homophobia, and transphobia, and have an intersectional approach in seeking solutions.

It all starts with an indentation on the Earth’s surface, where water flows in and gets trapped...

​The surrounding dead and dying plants fall into the water and lower the oxygen level. Then, as a result of the microbial decay processes, and the input of acids from the atmosphere, the water becomes quite acidic. This creates what’s known to us as peatlands, bogs, mires, moors, and fen.

Peatlands are the unsung hero’s working hard below the scenes to keep our remarkable and beautiful planet in rude health. They are home to a plethora of weird and wonderful plants including the insect-eating Sundew, or the infamous Sphagnum moss (peat moss) the most abundant plant in peatlands which has a neutral Ph level enabling it to retain lots of moisture. Peatlands also provide habitat for a unique collection of animals, including the ringed boghaunter, bog lemmings and spruce grouse…

In many places around the world, peatlands have become synonymous with wastelands. They are drained of water to transform them from a "useless" place into a “productive” space. Their disruption and extraction is justified through the logic that they are spaces of nothingness. Within this dominant perception of peatlands, all the great things that healthy peatlands have to offer are overlooked.

In this paradigm, drainage or extraction = money, and wet bog = no money. Claiming something to be nothing in order to exploit it, as we march on relentlessly monetising and plundering the world we live in.


Enter RE-PEAT a youth-led collective pushing for a peatland paradigm shift. RE-PEAT are on a mission to raise awareness on the lack of understanding around the wide ranging value of peatland and at the same time push the narrative into a new exciting paradigm, one which revels in the awe inspiring wonders of nature and it’s complex yet perfect systems and maybe, just maybe has the potential to heal us in the process.

Poppy Bagwell, RE-PEAT says -

We at RE-PEAT believe that through collaboration, education and a process of reimagining. The dominant perceptions of wet peatland as wasteland can be transformed to the perception of wet peatlands as valuable ecosystems.

In their own words...

Through collaboration we want to shape connections between farmers, scientists, local communities, innovators and politicians. This way we want to ensure a just transition away from drainage and destruction of peatlands, towards protection and restoration of both peatlands and the communities that have historically relied on them. We want to facilitate open, respectful and solution-based conversations with all stakeholders.

Peatlands are spaces of contradiction and paradox. The pickled plant life of peat, which is not-quite-living and not-quite-dead, challenges our perception of being. Thinking about this complexity helps us nurture respect for various forms of existence.

In a moment of history where "crisis" seems to be everywhere, through peat we can consider the deep time that is cocooned in its texture. In that space on earth, we are given the opportunity to re-imagine a world out of crisis. And while the weight of the water crisis, the biodiversity crisis and the climate crisis, unjustly falls on some more than others, healthy peatlands very practically hold the action potential for recovery and protection for all.

A peatland paradigm shift is radically inclusive and respectful, it is both active and pensive, and it is regenerative. It asks us to reassess our realities, and re-visit our ancestries, to regain a connection to the soil and to the water. It asks us to re-imagine space, time and what it means to be alive.

Peatlands are lands of transition; they are the lands between water and earth, life and death, and hold the memories of both young and old. Throughout the yearly cycle, a healthy blanket bog seems to breathe as the mosses expand to the rising water level during the wet months, and contract as the sun evaporates the water off in the warm periods. Yet, when drained of water, this breath-like cycle is lost, causing further destruction to our planet and it’s finely tuned way of being and breathing.

We are the stories we tell ourselves.... So let’s tell a different story!

At Ecohustler we really dig the re-peat gang and what they’re trying to do... it’s a beautiful and challenging mandate they’ve set themselves and us all, we too are now trying to blow our own minds open and bestow peatlands with spiritual, transformative and transitional powers and urge you to check out their website and try and do the same

Re-peat are also throwing a festival called PEAT-FEST which will take place on the 29th of May 2021.

Want to know how this paradigm shift is going to happen? Read the RE-PEAT Manifesto

What to know more about RE-PEAT? Read The Ecology of RE-PEAT

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