Sunday, 16 March 2014

Save The Bog.

Lots of public money goes into the conservation of English uplands, yet only a small percent of peatland in our uplands are in good condition. In the past the wettest areas of upland were improved by drainage for sheep grazing, today they are burnt to provide the best possible conditions for Red Grouse.

Burning, drainage, and other practices of so called 'land management' on peat-covered hills are heading towards an environmental disaster. In good condition, England's upland peatlands hold large stores of carbon, and help hold back water, they are important for wildlife including supporting wader species like Golden Plover and Dunlin. In poor condition - when damaged by draining or burning - those benefits are lost, releasing carbon and peat-stained water. Across vast areas of uplands in northern England, vegetation is burnt to yield the best possible conditions for producing the largest number of Red Grouse for 'sporting' purposes.

The species these protected sites are intended to look after are clearly not protected at all simply because burning the vegetation on deep peat soils is preventing the recovery of the habitat they require. However, it seems there are organisations that are moving to restore degraded bogs including those in Bowland where you have to say....lets hope that 'moves' these organisations do make on this issue are more successful than any they might have made not only to protect, but to halt the extinction of the Hen Harrier in the Forest of Bowland which has been a resounding failure.

So here's the call to dowse the torches and block the drains, to turn this situation around and protect our uplands. Ending all this unnecessary nonsense the 'Guardians of the Countryside' call management will improve this important habitat, secure stocks of carbon which has been stored over millennia as peat, and help improve raw water quality.

Marc Heath Wildlife Photography: Sea and Coastal Birds &emdash; Ring Ouzel - Reculver
Ring Ouzel.Marc Heath.

Ring Ouzel and Stonechat.

I'm reliably informed of a male Ring Ouzel and a pair of Stonechat at Whitendaleand a male Ring Ouzel and male Stonechat at Harrisend yesterday. A personal thanks to JW for contacting me on these four excellent records. 

Also thanks to Marc Heath for the brilliant Ring Ouzel image.


Dział Przyrody MŚO said...

Very interesting blog!
Greetings from Poland/Michał and Piotr

Martin Jump said...

Let`s hope that the upland bogs are restored in the correct and sympathetic way Pete.Great news of the bird sightings in Bowland,hope to get back up there soon.

Ana Mínguez Corella said...

Wonderful bird.. Good night Pete..