Scottish peat bogs are set to receive a boost with the launch of a Butterfly Conservation Scotland ‘bog squad’ dedicated to saving these precious wildlife habitats.
The Bog Squad, was launched by Aileen Campbell MSP, at Langlands Moss Local Nature Reserve, East Kilbride, South Lanarkshire.
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 the Scottish Government’s Green Stimulus Peatland Restoration Programme.
Scottish peat bogs are key wildlife habitats providing homes for the bog specialists such as the, Large Heath and other rare butterflies such as the Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary, 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 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.
MSP Aileen Campbell said: “I’m 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. 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, they have 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.
Maureen Potter, who coodinates work at the reserve, said: “The Friends of Langlands Moss LNR are delighted to welcome Aileen Campbell MSP along with the Butterfly Conservation bog Squad and look forward to working with them over the next few months.”
Butterfly Conservation Scotland has been managing a peatland nature reserve for several years at Wester Moss near Stirling, in conjunction with the owners, Stirling Council.
Our Project Officer, Sara Green, has 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 Sara at @email or at our Stirling Office on 01786 4497753.