Our precious peatlands have been 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 or 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.
As well as the bog specialist butterfly, Large Heath, 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.
Pleased with our work to restore our Wester Moss nature reserve near Stirling, we are now tackling other sites in the Central Belt. Mending mires means blocking drains, removing Rhododendron and controlling conifers.
We have created a 'Bog Squad' of volunteers who are restoring sites across the Central Belt. The work is satisfying, fun, and there is something for all abilities. It will also involve monitoring butterflies and moths. If you would like to join in please contact David Hill, Bog Squad Project Officer at firstname.lastname@example.org or our Stirling Office on 01786 4497753. There is more information on the Bog Squad Blog at http://bogsquad.weebly.com/,
The Bog Squad was part-funded until the end of March 2016 by the Scottish Natural Heritage Peatland Action Programme http://www.snh.gov.uk/climate-change/what-snh-is-doing/peatland-action/
We are now working up new peatland projects with the funding generously donated by BC members and others, and hope to re-start a Bog Squad programme soon.
Watch this space for news!