The National Trust C-Strategy (ii)

The National Trust carbon stores in soils ....

Katherine Hearn, National Trust Adviser on Nature Conservation, estimated in her report the 'National Trust carbon stores in soils and vegetation'. The stated that the Trust has established a national data-base of its soil and vegetation carbon stores, so can highlight best properties and regions for carbon storage. Only land-based carbon stores are considered here.

Soils: The data that has been used is embodied in the National Soils Map, produced for England and Wales by the (then government) Soil Survey, published in 1984. Maps and data have been overlain on NT property boundaries to produce an inventory. Limitations of this method, as highlighted by the intensive work at Wallington which were discussed later in the study visit were described. (Ref: Bell, MJ and Worrall, F, 2009. Estimating a region’s soil organic carbon baseline: the undervalued role of land-management. Geoderma 152, issues 1-2, pp 74 – 84.)

Vegetation: The Trust has a Biological Survey Team which produces standard habitat maps of all National Trust properties. Standard carbon stock values have been used for the major habitats.

Altogether the National Trust has approx 0.6% of the soil and the vegetation carbon estimated for the UK, so a considerable responsibility. Not surprisingly the biggest soil carbon stores are in the north and west of the country, in hilly land where there is extensive peat and other organic soils. The biggest carbon store in vegetation is in grassland, as this is the most extensive vegetation type on National Trust land.
The land management priorities to conserve and enhance these stores are:

Further informations and downloads

The presentation given by Katherine Hearn is available for download.

The project was funded from a Leonardo da Vinci grant.