Raising the Bogs
Raised bogs are an amazing habitat, formed when lakes or low lying fill with vegetation, which partially decays and then builds up to a point where it is raised above the surrounding landscape. They are home to many specialized and fascinating types of animals and plants, including carnivorous sundews, large heath butterflies, as well as birds such as jack snipe . At their core are peat-forming bog-mosses, which come in an array of striking colours and give the bogs their spongey feel.
Unfortunately, the area of good quality lowland raised bog in the UK is estimated to have diminished by around 94% , which is one of the reasons it is a UK Biodiversity Action Plan priority habitat and in Annex 1 of the Habitats Directive.
The Garnock Connections Landscape Partnership area contains a number of important raised bog sites, however unfortunately, many of the sites are in some way degraded. The ‘Raising the Bogs’ project seeks to work with landowners to implement detailed restoration plans for a number of these bogs. Some of the work will be done using specialist contractors but some work will also be done by volunteers. This is likely to include removing vegetation that is encroaching on and drying out the bogs and where possible blocking any drainage channels.
Did you know?
Raised bogs are home to specialised carnivorous plants called sundews. These are like mini versions of the more familiar Venus fly traps, and lure insects to them with droplets of ‘dew’, which they then get struck to and are slowly enveloped by the plant’s tendrils and digested. The acidic habitats the sundew lives in don't provide enough nutrients, so it has evolved this carnivorous way of life to supplement its diet.