Over the years our work and long-term goal at Langlands Moss LNR has been aimed at protecting and conserving the 20ha of raised bog. However, in 2018, a feasibility survey commissioned by South Lanarkshire Council’s Countryside and Greenspace Service discovered an estimated 298,199.6m3 of peat underneath the adjacent forested land. The average depth was found to be 139cm, with deeper pockets of over 9 metres. We decided to expand the boundary of the LNR, doubling the size of the reserve, felled 21ha of over mature conifer trees, removing the brash from the peat substrate and installed 21 dams and 5 bunds.
Our focus now is to protect, conserve and restore all the peatland within the LNR in the hope that this will improve the hydrology, increase the lagg vegetation zone and expand the diversity of the natural ecotones of the reserve.
Which of the UK Peatland Strategy goals (conservation, restoration, active management, sustainable management, coordination, communication) is your project helping to deliver?
We are continuing to conserve the raised bog, by repairing and installing new dams along the old forestry drains. We hope to restore the newly discovered peat under the former conifer plantation and in doing so, hope to expand the natural lagg zone and protect the hydrology of the raised bog. Our reserve has a management plan which we update every five years, and we are looking at potential funding to continue our work. We currently monitor through fix-point photography, but we are planning to install a water level monitoring system in 2022. The project has involved partnership working with South Lanarkshire Council, Green Action Trust, NatureScot and our local community group The Friends of Langlands Moss (FOLM).
What would you like to highlight as the projects top three achievements to date?
- Expanding the boundary of the LNR to include the peatland under the plantation woodland.
- Removing the over mature conifer plantation from the reserve and the boundary of the raised bog, where little or no ground vegetation grew. We now have an expanse of wetland vegetation along the edge of the raised bog and new habitats to encourage biodiversity.
- Partnership working with
- Green Action Trust to secure the funding for the peatland restoration project.
- The FOLM community group – who have striven to secure funding to improve access and signage, whilst raising awareness of the plight of raised bogs. One of our volunteers is a keen lepidopterist and recorded 10 large heath butterflies this summer.
- FOLM have raised some funds from Volunteering Matters, Action Earth to create and expand butterfly and birds habitats in the wildflower meadow and also in areas around the boundary of the LNR which are suitable for wildflower propagation. We have also planted bluebells and wild garlic in the wooded boundary area of the bog.
- FOLM have also been planting a variety of small saplings around the wildflower meadow which should help the biodiversity there too. We intend planting saplings in appropriate places and removing trees and other items which are unsuitable to be growing on peatlands.
- SLC CAG, Great Action, Nature Scotland, Peatland Action, Paths for All to repair the access paths and the fire damaged boardwalk. This increases the footfall in the area, helps to educate people and groups on the importance of peatlands and a variety of different growing habitats and biodiversity. It is particularly useful for educational events for schools, youth groups and students. It also helps us to recruit volunteers!
Are there any resources you have found useful or produced that you think might help other peatland projects?
- Before the conifer trees were removed, we held a community consultation and invited people to join us on an open day at the reserve to make the local community aware of our intentions to restore the peat. We produced a questionnaire to gain public opinion on the project and also to gain an insight as to how the reserve is used and what improvements the local community would like to see at Langlands Moss. The information from this activity has been valuable for funding applications, future access work and signage plans.
- Some of our members, prior to Covid, delivered presentations to a variety of groups including youth groups and schools. We also lead educational walks and run fun family orientated events which raises awareness of the importance of the area and the role of peat in the current climate challenges.
- We use our website, Facebook and Twitter to promote the site to the local community and also for the use of students at various universities and also the SRUC based at Ayr Campus.
- We have worked with the Bog Squad to restore the Peatlands and where possible have tried to involve local, interested people.
- We work with local businesses in a variety of different ways e.g. Sainsbury’s PLC who sent staff for work experience with us, donated several sums of money to enable us to buy tools and other items we need for our restoration work, local businesses for storing major items such as boardwalk materials during installation and also for security purposes and sometimes for comfort facilities if we have far travelled visitors.