International Bog Day – 28 July 2013
Judith Allinson writes:-
28 July is International Bog Day.
If you are in North Yorkshire or Lancashire on 27 and 28 July why not visit the Malham Tarn Open Day -where I will be leading guided walks at the Internationally Important Wetland Site.
– or why not find a bog near you to visit? Lower on this page read:
1. Ten Top Reasons why bogs are both important and magical; or click this link for a picture of the display at St John’s Church Hall, Settle about Bogs.
Right: Malham Tarn Moss – A Peat bog with a brilliant “lag” – gradation from bog to base rich wetland at the edges.
The little hill with trees used to be an island in the tarn at the end of the last IceAge, but since then the peat bog has grown up around it.
But first here is a video about the wetland area in Iraq that is said to be the site of the Garden of Eden
Top ten bright ideas – about the benefits of Bogs.
- Peat Bogs are worth Carbon Credit Gold – bogs and peatlands contain twice the amount of carbon as the world’s forests, but are largely ignored in the Kyoto Protocol.
(Peat bogs store carbon as organic material. It is principally the Sphagnum (Bog-moss) that does this. Methane can also be produced (which has a higher “global-change” effect even than carbon dioxide. The situation is complex – see a good report at East Anglia)
- Peat bogs store water, and thus act as a reservoir. Where moorland bogs have been drained the rivers from them are more subject to flash flooding, and dry up earlier in droughts.
- Peat bogs are acid and can preserve things – e.g. A thousand-year-old Book of Psalms was discovered by a construction worker in a bog in Ireland. See more details on wikipedia
- Pollen stored in peat laid down thousands of years ago show us what the vegetation used to be like.
- Peat has been used for fuel. Small peat cuttings can become valuable habitats for wildlife. However In Ireland whole bogs are being removed for use for fuel for electricity.
- Peat bogs support interesting plants such as carnivorous Sundews and Butterworts. They can support edible heathland fruit such as Bilberry, Cranberry and Cloudberry,
- They are home to many birds: Curlew, Plover, Lapwing and Meadow Pipits, Merlin, Hen Harrier, Snipe, Redshank
- Peat bogs have been used for peat for compost for growing plants. However it is difficult to get bare peat that has had the surface vegetation removed to recolonise
- In the fens peat has been drained and limed and fertilised – and is good for growing carrots because there are no stones.
- There are 34 different types of Sphagnum (Bog-moss) in the UK.. and half of them grow at Malham Tarn Fen and Bog.
- Thus there are conflicting uses of peat bogs.
- Peat bogs have taken thousands of year to form. Once a bog is destroyed (by drainage, or air pollution or removal for compost, it could take 1000s more years for a bog to grow. The UK climate and air purity is no longer so conducive to peat bog formation. In Indonesia peat bogs under forest are being burned – this is both releasing the carbon dioxide into the air causing more global warming and causing serious air pollution in surrounding areas due to the smoke.