The Slamannan bog restoration project has restored over 230 hectares of degraded lowland raised bog habitat in the Central belt of Scotland, with a focus on an area of the Slamannan Plateau called Fannyside Muir.
Fannyside Muir is a large area of peatland just west of the town of Cumbernauld in the Scottish Central Belt. The site has been subject to wide-ranging and long-term adverse management, including drainage for commercial peat extraction and historical afforestation.
Blocked ditches and piling dams at Fannyside Muir (c) Scott Shanks
Part of the restoration site is within the Slamannan Plateau Site of Special Scientific Interest and is designated as a Special Protection Area, as Taiga bean geese (Anser fabialis fabialis) use it as a winter roosting site.
With the help of volunteer work parties and specialist contractors, over 4,300 dams have been installed on drainage ditches to retain water in the bog and allow recovery of peat-forming Sphagnum mosses. Twenty-six hectares of the driest and most degraded parts of Fannyside Muir have been ‘cell-bunded’. This technique creates a landscape of shallow pools, a few inches deep, on the surface of the bog and blocks small ditches and cracks in the peat. Dragonflies and wading birds colonised almost immediately. Over 30 ha of conifers and 54 ha of birch scrub and gorse were also removed to prevent damage to the bog surface which contributes to drying out.