Bolton Fell Moss (Cumbria BogLIFE Project)

Description

This lowland raised bog has suffered following large-scale peat extraction leaving a bare peat surface. However, an agreement was reached with William Sinclair Holdings Ltd to cease extraction from November 2013, allowing for a restoration programme.

Project Aims

Natural England hope to restore Bolton Fell Moss by manipulating the hydrology, removing invasive vegetation e.g. birch and re-introducing peat-forming vegetation e.g. Sphagnum.

Restoration Delivered

Restoration work delivered so far include:

  • 50 ha of bare peat re-vegetated
  • Building of peat bunds and dams
  • Monitoring of ecological change.

Site Activity

In 2016, a 50 ha area of bare peat was re-wetted and re-vegetated by Barker and Bland. Vegetation harvested from the Pennines was used and consisted of Polytrichum mosses, feather mosses (Hypnaceae) and cotton grass. This was co-spread with Sphagnum-rich material, including S. magellanicum, S. papillosum, S. cuspidatum and S. capillifolium.

This vegetation was spread at the same time as peat bunds and dams were constructed on site. The vegetation carpet has proven resilient to wind-blow and heavy rainfall, with some Sphagnum growth already observed.

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Project Name: Bolton Fell Moss (Cumbria BogLIFE Project)

Organisation / Lead partner: Natural England

Location: Carlisle, Cumbria

Approximate area covered: 381 ha

Conservation Status: Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), Special Area of Conservation (SAC)

Predominately: Lowland

Peat Habitats: Lowland raised bog

Project Type: Restoration

Year Project Began: 2014

Project End Date: 2019

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