The first thing to say about the
Portmoak Community Woodlands is they they are
bonny wee places to go for a walk. But how did
they get to be like they are? On the geological
timescale, how was our landscape formed? Later
on, how did the activities of people change
things, and what are we doing today to try to
restore our woodlands back to a more natural
Here is some background reading:
Lot's of people noticed
what was going in the world in Summer 2020 - here's
what they saw:
Note June 2020
Note July 2020
Insects, moths, butterflies,
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
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 2018
shows what they saw on the Moss so far in 2017 -
there's 102 species.
shows the transects that they use.
Water table data
We've been gathering
data about the change in water levels since the moss was
cleared and the drainage channels were dammed. This
graph shows what's happened. It's pretty obvious that
when it doesn't rain much, the water level goes down and
when it does rain the water level goes up. The other
thing that we can say is that overall the water level
has risen by more than 350 mm and on average is often
less than 100mm below the surface.
In 2015 the surface of the raised bog was
mulched: that meant that it was leveled and drainage
routes were filled in with peat. We saw that the water
table got closer to the surface but where the level
dropped again - this was a period of low rainfall for a
couple of months.
In 2016 the steepest edges were reprofiled to
stabilise them and we put in sub-surface peat dams to
reduce the channeling of water beneath the surface. that
raised the water table by another 50mm and after rainy
periods there are many areas of standing water across
the peat dome - just what we want to see.
There was a long dry
period in 2017 when the water table dropped right back to
the level before we started the restoration project but
the important thing is that as soon as we got rain the
water table shot back up to the new high level.