Walking on the bog

Blawhorn Moss NNR and Flanders Moss NNR

Bogs are pretty soft places to walk and people often ask if they walk out across the peatland will they sink? Well, the answer is mostly no. These types of bogs often have  about 4-5m of liquid peat covered with a surface layer of vegetation. It is this layer of plants that keeps you up but of course there are places where the vegetation is a bit thin or no existent e.g. we have about 30km of ditches across Flanders Moss where there is little or no plants to hold you up. So, here are a few tips if you decide you want to take a walk across one of our bog NNRs.

The surface of the moss is very soft and the vegetation is usually high, made up of heather and hummocks of sphagnum. This means that you tend to end up developing a bit of a funny walk as to make any progress you need a high knee lift and long steps.

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A walking stick is very useful, it gives a third point of contact over an uneven and wobbly surface.

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Avoid the bright green bits – they are often where the vegetation is as its thinnest.

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The tussocks are very useful, they usually give the best support.

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Wear a hat as if you go in a ditch the hat will indicate to others where you went in.

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All of this explains why at both Flanders and Blawhorn we have put in paths and boardwalks so that you can get a full bog experience and enjoy the sights while keeping your feet (and the rest of you) dry and also not damage this soft precious habitat. Why not check them out?

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Some bog inhabitants are better suited to the place than others.

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