Birmingham City University academics have played a major part in a bid to save the country's rare peatlands.
The new government-backed Peatland Code aims to slash the UK's carbon dioxide emissions by 220 million tonnes and protect rare wildlife by restoring moors, bogs and mires.
The code comes after a successful two-year trial, which has seen businesses fund peatland restoration projects across the UK - based on research by academics from both BCU and the University of Leeds.
The research revealed that sustainable business investment could reverse the degradation of peatlands - such as those found on Cannock Chase in Staffordshire - and therefore significantly cut greenhouse gas emissions.
UK peatlands, which are wetlands made up of decomposed plants, currently lock away more than three billion tonnes of carbon and provide a habitat for rare wildlife as well as act as a natural filter for drinking water.
However, more than 80 per cent of the areas have been damaged.
The Peatland Code now sets out key environmental guidelines to restore more than 2.4 million acres of peatlands over the next five years, which alone could save 220 million tonnes of CO2 by 2050.
Prof Mark Reed, who led research at BCU, said: "The call of a curlew or cotton grass quivering in the wind are sights many of us may associate with our often solitary, yet beautiful moorland landscape.
"But we remain blissfully unaware or unappreciative of the many benefits we derive from these unique peatland habitats."
The research has won awards for its impact, including a commendation earlier this year from the Higher Education Funding Council for England.
Prof Joseph Holden, who led research at the University of Leeds, said: "The peatlands of the UK are our own version of the Amazon rainforest.
"They need to be protected. They are home to some of our rare and endangered wildlife.
"They also act as a huge store of carbon, with perhaps as much as 3.2 billion tonnes, greater than the amount of carbon soaked up every year by all of the world's oceans combined.
"The UK's peatlands are also important source areas for the provision of clean drinking water while protection of many of our peatlands may reduce flood risk."