Aren’t bogs brilliant?

Blawhorn Moss NNR and Flanders Moss NNR

Today is International Peatland Day. I know we have lots of ‘Days of…’ and I am probably a bit biased, but peatlands really are worth celebrating. People used to view them as useless, unproductive land but now it can be seen that they are helping us deal with a changing climate by keeping hold of loads of carbon that if released would be really bad for the atmosphere, as well as taking more carbon out of the atmosphere. They also help to reduce the impact of flooding. They are home to some very cool wildlife, (sundew and bog sun jumpers anyone?). And they are some of the nicest places to visit – how about wide expanses of cottongrass?

Large red damselfly caught and being eaten by sundew.

The majority of the land we manage is peatland – land made from peat. Blawhorn and Flanders are some of the best examples of peat bog that you can visit. Our bogs are pretty wet, even for peatlands and this is entirely down to the work that SNH has put in over the past 30 years repairing previous damage.

At Flanders these restoration works include: 50 km of ditches dammed up, 11 km of bunds put in to slow the flow of water off the bog and a massive 800 dams in ditches.

At Blawhorn Moss about 4 km of bunding and over 50 dams have been put in to repair past damage.

Volunteers at Blawhorn Moss building dams.

It shows the value of these places that so much time, energy and money has been put in to restore them. And for others to enjoy them.

International Peatland Day was launched by the International Peatland Society (IPS) in autumn 2019. It correlates with the date when the draft constitution of the IPS was adopted at an international symposium in Aberdeen in 1967. You can find out more here.

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