Caption: Conference delegates on site visit to Roudsea Mosses
Caption: Jane Barker at Cumbria BogLIFE Conference
As well as making peat free compost, we restore peat bogs across the UK and recently took part in an event aimed at highlighting the work being undertaken to protect these precious landscapes.
Read Natural England’s press release about the initiative:
“Lowland Raised Bogs are one of Europe’s most important and threatened habitats, with many having been damaged beyond repair. Pressure on them continues across the continent, as they are drained and ‘improved’ for agricultural land, forestry, or cutting peat for use as compost. Cumbria is a very important county for raised bog habitat, holding around half of all that is left in England. Natural England and Cumbria Wildlife Trust are leaders throughout the world in restoring these habitats and held a conference to share our knowledge with others from across the UK and continental Europe.
Healthy peatlands are home to some amazing specialist wildlife, such as the four spotted chaser dragonfly that thrives in them, but they are also critical for the health of the planet. Their peat depths store huge amounts of carbon, locked up over thousands of years since the last ice ages, but damaged bogs quickly release this carbon back into the atmosphere, contributing to climate change.
This conference, ‘Restoring Peatlands – The Development of Best Practice Techniques’, organised by the Cumbria BogLIFE project, brought together leading professionals from across the UK and Europe, showcasing 30 years of development. Speakers involved in peatland restoration projects from across the UK, Sweden, Estonia, Lithuania and Denmark shared their experiences. Site visits to some of the most important sites across the county will give delegates an opportunity to observe the variety of restoration techniques used.
John Dunbavin, Cumbria BogLIFE Project Manager says “Natural England has been working closely with our partners over the last 30 years in developing new and innovative techniques that ensure that these rare and wonderful sites are fully repaired for future generations to enjoy. We are therefore delighted to have had the opportunity to share this wealth of Cumbrian peatland knowledge with other professionals from across the UK and continental Europe”.
Simon Bland of Barker and Bland Ltd, sister company of Dalefoot Composts, based in the Lowther valley added: “Getting together with peatland restorers from across Europe enabled us to share knowledge, experience, expertise and learn what works elsewhere. It was a fantastic opportunity to showcase the innovative approaches we are employing in restoring degraded bogs here on Cumbrian sites.”