Charity installs 1000th dam across damaged peat bog

Wildlife charity Buglife Scotland has announced the installation of the 1000th dam in its Slamannan bog restoration project, which is helping to repair damaged lowland raised peat bogs in central Scotland.

Buglife damming Scotland peat bogs. Image: Supplied
Buglife damming Scotland peat bogs. Image: Supplied

One year in, Buglife has installed 1000 dams across more than 110 hectares of damaged bog and cleared more than 8 hectares of invasive conifers and scrub at Fannyside Muir, near Cumbernauld.

Over 80 per cent of Scotland's bogs have been lost or damaged in the last 200 years, mainly by drainage for agriculture, forestry and commercial peat extraction.

Drainage of upland bogs and peatlands speeds the flow of rainwater into rivers, and greatly increases the risk of downstream flooding following storms. During December 2015, the dammed areas of Fannyside Muir captured over 150 million litres of rainwater, slowing its progress into already swollen local burns and rivers.

Healthy bogs also provide a unique habitat for rare wildlife and plants including carnivorous sundews, short-eared owls, skylarks and invertebrates such as the large heath butterfly and the hieroglyphic ladybird.

Regular joint conservation work parties have been held during the autumn and winter with Butterfly Conservation's Bog Squad volunteer group. In December, volunteers felled 5 ha of invasive pines that made ideal Christmas trees.

The Slamannan bog restoration project is funded by the WREN Biodiversity Action Fund, Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) and the contribution of the LIFE financial instrument of the European Community for the EcoCo LIFE project. Partners in the project include Forestry Commission Scotland, North Lanarkshire Council, The Scottish Wildlife Trust, RSPB and SNH.

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