Exciting new work has begun to help the amazing wildlife on one of Scotland’s most iconic landscapes, the lowland raised bog. This week, wildlife charity Buglife Scotland has started on a large project on the Slamannan Plateau, near Cumbernauld that will restore 183 hectares of damaged bog to their former glory.
There are many rare species found in lowland bogs and nowhere else, with the Scottish peatlands being a particular hotspot for bugs such as the Large heath butterfly, the Bog sun-jumper spider and Hieroglyphic ladybird. The site has been mismanaged for many years after the water was drained for extracting peat. Buglife will be creating dams and removing water-absorbing trees to allow the water to be restored naturally. Undamaged raised bogs absorb large amounts of water and so are important in preventing flooding. Restored bogs store huge amounts of carbon, taking billions of tons of greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere.
Buglife’s Conservation Officer Scott Shanks said “It’s great to see the first phase of restoration work underway at Fannyside Muir. We would love the local community and anyone with an interest in conservation to get involved to restore our healthy bogs, either by helping our work parties or by running wildlife surveys.”
The Slamannan bog restoration project is funded by the WREN Biodiversity Action Fund, Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) and the contribution of the LIFE financial instrument of the European Community as part of the EcoCo Life Project. Partners in the project include Forestry Commission Scotland, North Lanarkshire Council, The Scottish Wildlife Trust, RSPB and SNH.