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Bairns on the Bog

Published: 27 February 2024

Our 2024 school visits have begun and we were delighted to be joined by the Aith Junior High School Primary 7 class for some Sphagnum moss planting last week in Tresta – they were a great help and it was a good chance for the bairns to find out more about the importance of peatlands and peatland restoration in Shetland.

If any school groups are interested in visiting a peatland restoration site, or would like to find out more, please get in touch with us on info@shetlandamenity.org

Sphagnum planting is a key aspect of the restoration of peatlands as it will encourage the growth of the mosses on bare patches of peat. The process involves harvesting Sphagnum from sites close to or on the restoration area and spreading these in pools behind peat dams or pushing small plugs of Sphagnum into the wetter areas of bare peat at the base of gullies.


Healthy peatlands, such as blanket bogs and raised bogs, can be characterised by dense carpets of different Sphagnum species. Sphagnum has no roots: the plant takes up water from the environment through its tissues but has remarkable water holding capacity, with different species capable of storing 16-26 times their dry weight in water. And with the ability to work like a sponge and peatlands general roughness this can mitigate against flooding as well as drought by slowing the water escaping from the landscape.

This is just one of many uses of Sphagnum!
To read more on Sphagnum visit - https://www.iucn-uk-peatlandprogramme.org/.../species...

To find out more about Peatland ACTION visit - https://www.nature.scot/.../nature-based.../peatland-action