Chris's Project: July 2018
When one of our
members, Chris Vlasto, died his family gifted
the donations made at his funeral to the
Portmoak Community Woodland Group. We are
using the money to create a new play area in
Orchard. A large area has been levelled and an
amphitheatre has been created. There is also a
picnic area. We'll be grassing over and
putting in tables over the next month or two.
National Bog Day: 22 July 2018, Portmoak
You were probably
excited about National Bog Day - it's right up
there with Christmas and Pancake Day. We
celebrated it at Portmoak Moss. A couple of
dozen people were guided around the Moss,
spotting dragonflies and damselflies. Moths
and butterflies had been trapped the night
before, identified and then we released them.
We also did some dipping (ponds, not other
people's pockets). Interesting and fun event!
Himalayan Balsam: June 2018
This is an
invasive species which spreads very rapidly
and we are seeing signs of it encroaching
on the Moss. Rapid intervention is
required - if it spreads its seeds then it can
quickly overrun a large area. We went down and
removed it and we expect this to be an ongoing
effort for the next few years.
MP visit: 30 May 2018
Our local MP,
Luke Graham asked to visit us to hear about
the work we are doing on Portmoak Moss. We
toured our site and explained about the
environmental importance of bogs in general
and Portmoak in particular.
Teacher education: May 2018
One of our team,
Marje Smith, has developed an educational page
called 'Let's Talk Bogs'. She trained a large
group of teachers on how to use it and it is
expected to become part of the curriculum.
Visits by classes are already being scheduled.
Portmoak Primary School in the orchard: May
Children from the
local primary school spent a morning in the
orchard clearing weeds around our fruit trees
and surveying butterflies and insects. They
also had a brainstorming session to generate
ideas for how to use the new amphitheatre area
that is being created by Chris's Project. A
nature trail, dog shows, a labyrinth, and a
garden festival were among the great ideas
they had. All very timely too as we we soon be
doing the required reprofiling work.
Bog Squad popping and pulling: 29 April
This year we're
trying to find a better way than using
chemicals to control birch regeneration. This
was our second popping and pulling day. The
idea is to drag the birch out by the roots,
give it a good talking too, then encourage it
to break down to become peat. The Bog Squad
are the real professionals at this and they
spent a day with us. We now have a large area
cleared of birch regen and we'll be able to
compare the effectiveness of doing it this way
against using weedkiller.
Annual General Meeting: 17 April 2018
bearers were re-elected. Jeff Gunnell is the
Chair, Louise Batchelor is the Secretary and
Lesley Botten is the Treasurer.
We're in good shape financially with enough
funds to be able to keep putting on public
events free of charge but also able to respond
rapidly to opportunities, like buying more
land or paying for projects, should a suitable
opportunity crop up.
We looked back on what we've done in the last
year and we're pleased with the balance
between management activities and public
The constitution is here.
And if you want to see the minutes of the AGM,
they are here.
butterflies, dragonflies, bumblebees
There's an amazing
number of insects living in the Moss - and the
diversity has increased a lot because of the work
that has been done to restore the peat dome.
Butterfly Conservation http://www.eastscotland-butterflies.org.uk/
an incredible job of monitoring and recording
moths and butterflies across the UK. Our local
people are George Guthrie and Duncan Davidson. If
you ever see strange lights in the Moss late at
night, there's a good chance that it's George
trapping moths and butterflies ready to identify,
count and record them. Sometimes they put on
special events for us too.
shows what they've seen on the Moss so far in 2017
- there's 102 species.
Portmoak Moss viewed from
Kilmagad Wood, with Loch Leven and Benarty
Hill in the background
views, delightful walking and an ambitious
project to restore a commercial plantation to a
raised peat bog.
at Scotlandwell, near to Kinross and the M90,
about midway between the Forth Road Bridge and