Bog Squad volunteers visited Black Moss on the edge of Armadale last weekend with the aim of constructing some peat dams. The eastern section of Black moss is riddled with old drainage ditches which have infilled with vegetation over the years. They are still slowly taking water away from the moss however, so over the last couple of years Bog Squad volunteers have been working to retain more water on the site. One way to do this is by creating dams made of peat in the ditches.
To do this a section of the ditch needed to be excavated of the unconsolidated peaty material that has built up since the ditch was last cleared. A borrow pit was also excavated nearby from which we were able to take consolidated peat. This 'good' peat has clay like properties when compressed and acts as a natural barrier to water movement. By digging deep and wide enough to reveal the old profile of the ditch we exposed the 'good' peat on the ditch sides and base to which our dam could be bedded into. Once filled up with 'good' peat the dam was topped with the original vegetation layer which had been carefully placed to one side at the start.
By the end of the day we'd completed two new peat dams which will help slow the water loss from a couple of ditches. Peat damming is a bit of a messy job but with some care and attention we managed to make it look as if we'd never been there. Well almost! Many thanks again to the volunteers who helped create the dams.