Bog Blasting

Blawhorn Moss NNR
Ways of working on National Nature Reserves have changed over the years and this was brought home to me the other day.

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In the ‘old’ days, whenever a site visit was made by staff, an event reporting card was filled in to record all the different on-site activities. A site visit card was recently passed onto to me that reported that 34 years ago (almost to the day) Andrew Panter (working for the Nature Conservancy Council, SNH’s predecessor) went out to Blawhorn Moss with 3 small pieces of explosive. With these he blasted holes in the bog surface with the idea that these could be used by dragonflies. Two worked well while the third was only partially successful due to “the incomplete burn of the explosive.” On 20 Sept 1983 he reported that the pools were holding up to 1ft of water.

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We still do this type of habitat creation today but rather than use explosives we work with volunteers to hand-dig dragonfly pools.

And though this is always very rewarding and fun it might not be quite as much fun as blasting the ponds with explosives. I must go out and check the locations to see if 34 years later the pools are still there. Watch this space!

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