Dry bog moribund bog

Flanders Moss NNR and Blawhorn Moss NNR

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We have had a fantastic summer, one to remember, but the dry weather does have its downsides and these are felt on bogs perhaps more so than other habitats.
At both Flanders and Blawhorn the bog pools are drying out as the water table drops below the surface of the moss. Bogs’ only source of water is from rainfall so when it is not coming from above it doesn’t get topped up and the water gradually drains out. It means that the bog doesn’t look its usual beautiful colourful self and the pools turn to mud. The dried sphagnum is moribund and not growing but not dead. A more normal wet summer can be great for sphagnum growth but this summer will mean the bog has halted its growth and peat deposition.
But all is not lost. When we get rain (and I am sure it will come soon enough) the bog should rehydrate quickly, the water table gradually fill up, the pools reappear and the bog will start growing again. What is noticeable at Flanders is that the restoration work of bunds and dams is working well as it is actually still wetter than other sites with fewer structures. This shows the value of doing this work as a way of future proofing bogs against further climate change. So with this in mind I am not praying for rain….yet.

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