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A Blog for a Bog: Portmoak School Does Science

Hello B[L]OG Friends .....

Peat Bogs poster 1

On a fine summer’s day in June 2022 the P6/7 class from Portmoak Primary School gathered in Portmoak Moss. The children and their teacher were working on a conservation project relating to the John Muir Trust Award. Having an important raised peat bog on their doorstep made it an easy choice to direct their study there.

Healthy peat bogs are not covered with birch trees. Unfortunately, Portmoak Moss has a birch tree battle with thousands of young birch saplings striving to become established trees.

The children surveyed an area of the Moss where the birch saplings had been removed five years ago. With the implements of science, (string, quadrats, metre sticks and clipboards) they pegged out their sample zone and randomly sampled in 4 different areas. They counted the number of trees in each sample site and measured the height of the trees too. It was hard, hot, work requiring accuracy and tenacity; juice and chocolate biscuits helped a little!

Graph 1 June 2022
The results were gathered and analysed by the class and they produced graphs and posters showing both the results and an indication of why this is so important. The results don’t make good reading, the battle is certainly not going well. We have to work harder and pull out more saplings at a faster rate than before. But it’s not all bad news. Some lovely local children are on board. Their experience on the Moss helped them to understand the importance of peat bogs, they worked as scientists and learned how to plan and carry out a scientific study. They worked together in teams and reported their findings to the community woodland group.

The children know why this work matters because the Portmoak Community Woodland Group and Portmoak Primary School are looking to their bogtastic future.

This month's Bog Blogger: Marje.


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