Carbon Connects

Project Summary

WETLANDS as a natural solution against CLIMATE CHANGE


North-West EuropeWetlands are the key to help us mitigate Climate Change!

Today one third of the global CO2 emissions are caused by drained and/or burned peatlands for agricultural use. There is an urgent need for sustainable alternatives and innovative business models for farmers and land managers on rewetted peatlands.

The Carbon Connects Interreg project (CConnects) aims to reduce 50% of the unnecessarily high CO2 emissions caused by traditional practices on agricultural peatlands. CConnects promotes alternative practices of wet agriculture to protect the farmer and the environment against environmental consequences of climate change. In low lying peatlands this can be done by raising water levels and introducing alternative crops and /or livestock adapted to wet conditions. Examples are Cattail and Reed, which can be used as low carbon construction materials, bio-fuels and animal feed. The cultivation of peat moss could prove an interesting alternative for the production of growing substrates for horticulture, which currently is a huge consumer of turf. In the UK the aim is to work with farmers and landowners to return upland peat bogs to the best possible ecological condition, maximizing carbon storage. Connects will work with a wide range of stakeholders (local authorities, research institutions, farmers, and landowners ) to conserve and enhance wetland ecosystems by reducing emissions by  about 1600-3200 ton per year on pilot sites across N-W Europe with a total surface of around 80 ha.


To facilitate this transformation in land use, CConnects develops new business models including the application of blue and Carbon-credit schemes to enable widespread implementation. These innovative business models will be implemented on 8 pilots in the Netherlands, France, Belgium, UK and Ireland, jointly representing all peatland types across North-West Europe.

A Carbon Connnects’ transnational Farmer-2-Farmer learning programme will allow land users to directly share and scale experiences, while actively targeting new adopters with a transnational online toolbox of state of art land use and farming practices.

Additionally, a set of policy papers will be drafted with the objective to adjust European rural policies in favor of paludiculture in North-West Europe.


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Project Partners

  • Province of North Brabant

    1 Brabantlaan
    Den Bosch
    5216 TV

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  • The Rivers Trust

    Rain-Charm House, Kyl Cober Parc, Stoke Climsland
    Callington, Cornwall
    United Kingdom

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  • Flanders research institute for agriculture, fisheries and food

    72 Gulden Vlieslaan

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  • European Landowners Organization

    67 Rue de Trèves

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  • Association of the Chambers of Agriculture of the Atlantic Area

    1 Maison d’agriculture, Rue P.A. Bobierre – La Géraudière

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  • Philipps-University Marburg

    10 Deutschhaustraße

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  • Limerick Institute of Technology

    Moylish Park

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  • North Pennines AONB Partnership

    1 Martin Street, Stanhope, DL13 2UY

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  • Van Hall Larenstein University of Applied Science

    26a Larensteinselaan

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Lead partner

Organisation Contact name Address Email Website
Van Hall Larenstein University of Applied Science Toine Smits 26a Larensteinselaan
Name Contact Name Email Country
Province of North Brabant Frank Van Lamoen Netherlands
The Rivers Trust Rob Collins United Kingdom
Flanders research institute for agriculture, fisheries and food Frank Stubbe Belgium
European Landowners Organization Marie-Alice BUDNIOK Belgium
Association of the Chambers of Agriculture of the Atlantic Area Pascal Dagron France
Philipps-University Marburg Markus Hassler Germany
Limerick Institute of Technology Seamus Hoyne Ireland
Wear Rivers Trust Martin Colling United Kingdom
North Pennines AONB Partnership Paul Leadbitter United Kingdom


Carbon Connects aims to reduce the high carbon footprint of peatlands soils in Northwest Europe by introducing new bio-based business models developed for sustainable land management practices.
The business models enable the capturing of carbon in bio-based products which are marketed to different sectors such as construction and energy.
Carbon credit schemes are also enabled by ‘sealing’ the ground where CO2 no longer has the chance to dissolve.


The Netherlands, Germany, France, Belgium, Ireland and the United Kingdom are building living labs, collaborating to share best practices and establish transnational potential for up-scaling.
These countries have an average pilot area of 100,000 m² each (10ha). Carbon can be stored in alternative crops, suitable for wet conditions (eg. cattails, reeds, willow, cranberry and peat moss).
These crops are processed to create sustainable bio-based construction materials, fuel sources or food.


By implementing the business models, Carbon Connects will:

  • Generate a Farmer-to-Farmer learning program to share best practices in each region by peers.
  • Develop a set of policy papers to scale up the required agricultural policy shift in NWE and EU.
  • Create an online collaborative living lab platform to have joint plan development and implementation of wet agriculture.
  • Set up an online toolbox of state of the art land use practices and business models to share knowledge.


Carbon Connects will reduce CO2 emissions with about 90-180 tonnes per year, in its pilot stage alone. Viable businesses are created that tackle climate change and give protection against environmental issues.
The partnership will create an ecosystem with local authorities, research institutions, farmers, and landowners to strengthen collaboration and make the region more resilient to climate change.

Carbon Connects Presentation

The carbon farmer


The first Carbon Connects meeting took place in Eidenhoven, Netherlands between 23rd and 25th July 2018.

 Here's the link to the Introduction Presentation


The second Carbon Connects meeting took place in Nantes, France the 14th and 15th of November 2018.


Presentation WP T1

Presentation WP T2

Presentation WP T3

Restoring NW European peatlands through sustainable building material, by Aldert van Weeren

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