Peat forms in waterlogged conditions where the lack of oxygen prevents micro-organisms, such as bacteria and fungi, from rapidly decomposing dead plant material. A range of plants have adapted to thrive in peat bogs and in some cases grow nowhere else.
It is essential to retain rainfall in peatlands to protect their biodiversity and to prevent the release of CO2 which happens as a result of their drying out. Drained peatland should be restored by raising the water table. This can be achieved by using peat and natural materials to form dams or by the use of plastic piling.