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Restoring peatland habitats helps to prevent carbon emissions, provides wildlife habitats and helps prevent flooding and water quality issues downstream.
Peat soils have been formed over the thousands of years since the last ice age. They are found in areas of high rainfall and are made up mainly from partially decomposed Sphagnum mosses and cotton grass. Peat is an amazing soil, its water logged and acid nature means that it preserves things within it, you might have heard of the 'bodies in the bog', 'bog oaks' or the pollen record. All of these give us glimpses into the past, showing us what life and our landscapes were like over the last ten thousand years.
Peatland habitats support a range of scarce plant and animal species. Special plants include cloudberry, cranberry, round-leaved sundew and, of course, the wide range of sphagnum mosses which eventually create the peat. Birds such as meadow pipit, golden plover, dunlin, curlew, short-eared owl, and grouse can all be found here.
Peat stores carbon. Whilst covering just 3% of the world's land area, and thus rarer in extent that tropical rainforests, upland peatlands contain nearly 30% of all carbon stored on land. The peatlands of England contain more carbon that the forests of Europe. Keeping peatlands healthy prevents this carbon being released into the atmosphere. Healthy functioning blanket bogs also draw carbon out of the atmosphere and lock it up as peat is formed.
Blanket bogs act like sponges during and after high rainfall events. As sphagnum mosses can absorb 10x their weight in water, they hold onto the rainwater and let go of it slowly over time, slowing the flow of water off the fells and helping to reduce flashy flood risk downstream. Healthy blanket bog vegetation covers the peat surface and prevents erosion of the peat, keeping drinking water quality high.
Our uplands also give us wide open spaces high in landscape quality and natural beauty, they can be inspirational and uplifting and help us to maintain our health and wellbeing.
Please note this route will take you off the summit, a short way down the flag path and then across the open hill to the cart track. If visibility is poor, please do not leave the flag path, but re-trace your steps up to the trig point or keep going along the flag path if that is your preferred route down. Please do not attempt the open moor route unless the skies are clear.
Book recommendations for this region:
- 13 Waypoints
- 13 Waypoints