Last week I took my practical group of volunteers to a different Scottish Wildlife Trust reserve for the day. Cander Moss, near Larkhall is what remains of a larger raised bog and is a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). We were joined by the Butterfly Conservation’s ‘Bog Squad’ on what was a very wet, windy and cold day! Our task was to remove an area of birch woodland that was encroaching onto the moss. The cut birch did not go to waste though; the larger logs were used to fill up ditches which had previously been dammed. The logs will help sphagnum mosses colonise the ditch faster, raise the water table of the surrounding area and increase the condition of the bog. The brash (smaller branches) were piled up, deeper into the woodland, providing nesting habitat for birds and a place for invertebrates to live.
These peatland habitats are incredibly important and are increasingly valued for their biodiversity, and the ‘ecosystem services’ they provide, such as flood prevention and carbon storage. Many butterflies and moths that are rare in the lowlands, such as Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary, Green Hairstreak, Argent & Sable, Lunar Hornet and Wood Tiger can be found on the edges of raised mires associated with the heather and woodlands.
The Bog Squad is a group of volunteers who are restoring peatland sites across the Central Belt. The work is satisfying, fun, and there is something for all abilities.It also involves monitoring butterflies and moths. If you would like to join in please contact David at firstname.lastname@example.org or at their Stirling Office on 01786 4497753. There is more information on the Bog Squad Blog at http://bogsquad.weebly.com/ including updates, upcoming work parties, work locations, etc.
Laura Preston – Scottish Wildlife Trust, Falls of Clyde Ranger