#Loveswamps – World Water Day

Loch Lomond NNR

It is World Water Day today (see here), each year 22 March is all about the importance of water and this year the focus is on water and climate change – and how the two are inextricably linked. Adapting to the water effects of climate change will protect health and save lives. Using water more efficiently will reduce greenhouse gases.

Working on 2 bogs a swamp and some islands means that we are on and sometimes in water nearly all day everyday. And the nature of these reserves is often linked to water, the purity of it and the amount of it. We do water and lots of it.

At Loch Lomond this is very obvious, last week half of the reserve was underwater, the few weeks before most of the reserve was under water. This is normal and natural and very useful. The marshlands are huge reservoirs holding the flood waters of the Endrick and the main loch and used extensively by the wildlife.

And Gartfairn wood truely is a wildlife wonder. A woodland that spends most of its winter under feet of water, it is the closest thing to a mangrove swamp in Scotland.

A visit last week to check on the heronry was tricky. I could hear the herons in the distance, making their usual clanking chatter, but there was no way I could get anywhere close unless I wanted to swim (which I didn’t). The whole wood was in a natural state rarely seen these days, dead and dying trees, young and old ones, reshooting windblown trees and water everywhere. Beautiful and exhilarating to see, a wood like this is fantastic for wildlife and by holding water for longer helps to reduce the chances of flooding downstream. Gotta love swamps.

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