Our wet, wild mountains are the perfect place to form a unique habitat – our mountain bogs.
As the rains fall, a special kind of moss called sphagnum grows – it grows and grows, piling up and piling up, forming deeper and deeper layers. The layers gradually smoothe out the features of the land like a blanket on a bed – we call it a blanket bog.
In our high hills where the the eagle soars, the wind blows and the rain pours. It’s wet, it’s wild, it’s incredibly beautiful and if you visit you’ll know you’re alive.
The newest layer on top of the bog is made up of lots of different sphagnum mosses of lots of different colours – greens, reds, oranges and yellows. With clumps of purpley heather and patches of white tufty cotton grass, it looks like a patchwork quilt!
Scotland’s peat bogs store ten times the carbon of all Britain’s forests combined, 16200 million tonnes to be exact. They are the best carbon store we have so it’s vitally important we look after them.
We’re working with land managers to look after our lovely mountain bogs. To help hold on to water and encourage the growth of sphagnum moss, we’ll block up old drainage ditches while making sure there’s not too much pressure from sheep and deer. When designing our forests, we’ll work round deep peat areas that are better suited to staying as bog.
By soaking up water and releasing it slowly and steadily, bogs in good condition can also help reduce the impact of both floods and droughts. This is just what we need for these freak weather incidents which are sadly becoming more common due to climate change.