Making a mess of a classroom

P1090426Flanders Moss NNR

I went into Buchlyvie Primary School this week to talk to them about climate change and how bogs can help. They are one of the lucky schools to have Flanders Moss close by. We started off talking about changing climates in general and I quickly found out that this group of young people were extremely knowledge about what climate change is, what is causing it and what people are doing to reduce it. They knew as much as I did!

So we then moved onto talking bogs and how bogs and peatlands can help us in reducing the impacts of climate change. We talked about just how much peat (which is made up of a lot of carbon) is in a bog and how if we re-wet the bog and stop it from drying out then that carbon is locked up and doesn’t escape into the atmosphere. And the added benefit is that this makes good homes for all of the special wildlife that you find on bogs. There was a lot of interest in how sundews eat midges, how sphagnum was used in ancient times as nappies, how remains of whales have been found in bogs and how Flanders is a great place to see adders as they live there.

But there is far too much talking in this world so we then got our hands (and seemingly everything else) dirty by having a close look at sphagnum moss, the building block of all bogs – it soaks up so much water, and peat – pickled plant remains. We also sniffed compost (fresh and old) as well. When gardening if you make your own compost then you don’t need to buy peat. And gardening peat is a dead bog and carbon in the atmosphere so not good on all fronts.

It is such a great experience to go into a classroom and find such a knowledgeable group of young people. But sorry, Mr. McPhee that your classroom and pupils weren’t quite as clean as when I found them.

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1 Response to Making a mess of a classroom

  1. Pingback: What a nice “thank you” | 2 bogs, a swamp and some islands

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