Flanders Moss NNR
It is #ScotClimateWeek so a good opportunity to have a look at why we have had a huge great digger working out on Flanders Moss for the previous 3 weeks. Flanders Moss has had a huge amount of historic damage done to it. This has dried out the peat that makes up the bog and dried peat degrades, releasing carbon into the atmosphere. There is a lot of carbon in Flanders Moss, the equivalent of 2200 football pitches in area and 4-5 m deep. The more of this carbon going into the atmosphere the greater effect on the climate. So how do we stop this process? We get the peat wet again by bringing the water table back to the surface and locking up the carbon in wet peat. The peat is best kept wet by a layer of sphagnum moss (a natural sponge) growing on the surface. In one area of the moss which was an old plantation the surface wasn’t level enough to get sphagnum to grow. So a himac has been flipping the old stumps and leveling an area of about 30 football pitches. It might not look that interesting at the moment but to a bog manager this is heaven, another bit of Flanders that is heading back to good bog.
And we know it works. Below is a bit we prepared earlier (leveling work carried out 2 years ago) and you can see the sphagnum moss expanding out over the bare, now wet, peat healing the bog and stabilizing the water table in the bog. It is a really simple thing but so satisfying. If you get the water table right the bog recovers visibly in front of you. Another successful day at the office. This is one of the (many) reasons why I do the job!
All this work is funded by the EcoCoLIFE project that is joining up nature across Central Scotland.