This last weekend the Bog Squad teamed up with Buglife and visited Fannyside Muir near Cumbernauld to lend a hand in the restoration of this huge peatland site. In the past large areas of Fannyside have been drained and commercially stripped of peat whilst other parts have been subjected to damaging afforestation. Recent restoration works at Fannyside organised by Buglife have seen many ditches blocked by hundreds of plastic and peat dams. And we could certainly see the effects of these dams as large pools of water have been building up following recent rains. But there's still more to do!
We began by removing some willow and gorse scrub from an old railway embankment that crosses the muir. With the bog beginning to wet up following the improvement works, the railway embankment is a key (and dry!) access point for much of the muir. So keeping it clear means that future work parties and visitors will be able to gain access easily.
As usual we did have a few mothy distractions with a few moths being caught in an overnight light trap. The highlights being two Angle Shades (above) and rather strangely a Ruby Tiger caterpillar that had wandered into the trap overnight! Also spotted by our keen eyed volunteers during the day was a very speedy Drinker moth caterpillar (left) and a large beetle grub that was slowly chewing its way through some old willow.
By early afternoon the promised sunshine had duly arrived and we moved onto our second task for the day which was to extend some plastic piling dams. During the late summer a number of very large dams were built across a deep ditch and these have been filling-up nicely with water ever since. In fact so much water has been trapped that it some has started to escape round the side of the dams! So the Bog Squad set about using some left over plastic piling to seal up the edges.
We managed to extend 3 dams before we ran out of time (and plastic!) which leaves us a few more to extend at our next work party at Fannyside on 6th December. We'll also be tackling an area of lodgepole pines which have been regenerating in an old plantation which will make excellent mini Christmas trees! Maybe see you there..........