Bog Squad to protect peatlands

The ‘Bog Squad’ team is a volunteer task force, created to carry out rehabilitation works on damaged peat bogs across the Scottish Central Belt, with funding from Scottish Natural Heritage’s Peatland Action project.

Scottish peat bogs are key wildlife habitats providing homes for bog specialists, such as the Large Heath and other rare butterflies such as the Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary and Green Hairstreak.Bog edges also provide vital homes for rare moths such as the Argent & Sable, Lunar Hornet and Wood Tiger.Many Scottish bogs are in a poor state after being planted with alien conifers, damaged by drainage, used as dumps and stripped for garden use.But they are increasingly valued for their biodiversity, and the 'ecosystem services' they provide, such as flood prevention and carbon storage.

Most of our lowland raised mires are in the Central Belt, Aberdeenshire and in Dumfries and Galloway. Many are small and isolated in landscapes of intensive agriculture.MSP Aileen Campbell, said: “I am very pleased to be able to launch the Butterfly Conservation Bog Squad project in my role as Species Champion for the Large Heath butterfly.“Peatlands are a very special part of our heritage as well as being important for wildlife and for providing ecosystem services. They are also great places for people to enjoy, and at Langlands Moss local people really value their local peatland.”Butterfly Conservation Bog Squad project Officer, Sara Green said: “Peatlands are not only beautiful and fascinating places, with their own unique wildlife.“They also help us to reduce flooding and combat climate change by locking up carbon. We will be recruiting and training volunteers to help conserve these wonderful places.”Langlands Moss Local Nature Reserve is one of several sites where the volunteers will be working - installing dams across old drains and controlling scrub".

More information at www.bogsquad.weebly.com,with updates, upcoming work  parties, work locations etc.