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Birch Pulling Nov '21

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While everyone else was planting trees for COP 26 we were pulling them out.

And that’s because we have a raised peat bog on the doorstep and peat stores about ten times more carbon than forests.

The members of Portmoak Community Woodland Group were joined by a dozen from the Lothians Conservation Volunteers, who specialise in jobs like restoring peat bogs and who’ve had a long association with our group.

Everyone was there to do their bit - protecting the special place that is Portmoak Moss, where the peat is so thick, at least 6 metres deep, that it stores the carbon footprint of more than 40, 000 people.

One of the volunteers, Jackie Howlett, from Edinburgh, said: “Peat bogs have got a very important role to play in stopping climate change.”

Sphagnum moss, which forms the peat, takes carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and locks it into the bog. Unfortunately, if too many trees are allowed to grow on the bog they dry it out and the carbon is released. We do have too many birch saplings at the moment, which is why we spent six hours on Sunday 7th November pulling them out.

Both groups were helped by volunteers from Scotlandwell and Kinnesswood, who grappled with the tough birch roots to get the saplings off the Moss. 6,000 square metres of bog were cleared of birch in weather conditions that might not have been wet enough for bogs but were fine and calm and welcomed by everybody there. 

Michael McGinnes, of PCWG, and the event organiser, said: “With so much help we achieved twice as much as we expected and considerably more than on previous events, so it was highly successful. A big thank you to the Lothians Conservation Volunteers.” 


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Portmoak Moss - Woodland Trust

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Woodland Trust Scotland



Christmas Tree Day

Christmas Tree Day 2021 was a great success.

About 160 people came and as well as finding their trees everyone enjoyed the social part too - eating cakes and talking about peat bogs and Moss restoration. One of our best bits of feedback was "Our tree is perfectly imperfect! "

As always this was a free event - but we got many, many donations which we'll be using to buy more equipment to continue our work on the Moss. Thanks to everyone for your generosity.
Burns Ceilidh Cancelled in January but hope to have a celidh later in the year.



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