After two months away exploring the beautiful countries of Indochina, my first job was to head out to check on the progress of the bog restoration projects that have been going on while I was away. I hope you might forgive me for not being immediately excited by the prospect of putting wellies on to trudge across the bog in the rain, however, it was great to get out and see the Solway once again. The estuary was looking great (see picture), couldn’t see any haafnetters which would have completed the picture, but I was reminded of what a fantastic landscape this is. There is always an abundance of birdlife feeding in the mudflats and Thursday was no exception, so I decided to get the binoculars out and spent 10 minutes bird watching from the warmth of my car.
One of the main focusses of the Solway Wetlands Landscape Partnership is in restoring the international important peat bogs which are scattered across the Solway Plain. Drainage since WW2 has damaged these vital habitats, however, we, along with our project partners, are now working to restore these areas. The second picture shows the work on Bowness Common which I went to check on Thursday. You can see the peat bunds which have been created to slow down the flow of water and allow the rare plants to re-establish, plus, having a high water table prevents the breakdown of the peat, locking in the carbon, reducing greenhouse gas emissions. With flooding a hot topic in the news at the minute, this work also has the added benefit of storing water during high rainfall and releasing it gradually, one of the many benefits of having a bog in your back garden. It was great to see that all this good work has happened while I was away, makes me think I should leave more often! If you want to see some of this peat bunding at work then go for a walk through Drumburgh Moss, managed by Cumbria Wildlife Trust, to see how this peat bog has bounced back after restoration work was completed a few years ago.