Creative thinking on the bog

Flanders Moss NNR

Bogs are difficult places to work. They are extremely wet and soft and therefore it is hard to move materials around on them. So a bit of innovative thinking is needed at times to overcome some of the practical problems.
We need to block streams, ditches and run offs to slow down the flow of water off the site to keep the moss wetter. Getting materials out onto the site can be difficult and expensive so why not use something that is already out on the moss? We are cutting patches of birch scrub that invade the bog and dry it out and so by using a low ground pressure chipper we can process the birch into a material that will help to get the moss wetter. The resulting wood chips are laid in a dams, compressed by the machine driving over it and this is enough to hold back the water temporarily. The water actually seeps through the dam but the flow is slowed enough for sphagnum to start to form in the pools up stream of the dam.  Of course the dam won’t last forever but by the time it degrades we hope that there will be enough naturally formed sphagnum to soak up the rainfall.

A bit of creative thinking indeed.


A wood chip dam


Constructed from scrub cut off the moss and chipped.


Once compressed the chips slow down the flow of water off the moss.

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