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Tough work: tough team!

We were delighted to welcome back a fantastic team of staff and volunteers from NatureScot last month, to help with the ongoing work of pulling birch saplings out of Portmoak Moss.

It’s really tough work so we were especially pleased that, after doing it for a day last year, they were prepared to return for another onslaught. Altogether, there were 5 volunteers and 2 members of staff from NatureScot and 5 members of the Portmoak Community Woodland Group.  

It’s amazing how much work you can get done with a dozen folk - and how much fun it is.

By the end of the session we had crossed from one side of the bog to the other and cleared trees from 800 square metres of ground, as well as partially clearing another 200 square metres.

If you’re walking the circular path round the Moss look out for the big heap of brash which was created, on the northern side of the main peat dome. 

The aim, as always, was to take away the young trees, which draw too much water from the raised peat bog, and to provide a better habitat for sphagnum moss, which eventually rots down and creates more peat  - as it has been doing for thousands of years on this spot. Lowland raised peat bogs are a rare habitat, so it's worth making the effort.

Simon Ritchie, (pictured on the right), the Nature Reserve Officer from NatureScot’s Loch Leven Nature Reserve, said: “We do a little lowland heath restoration, which requires pulling out young trees, but nothing on this scale.” 

And he was full of praise for the task force: “We have a hardy, dedicated bunch of volunteers who help us with a lot of habitat management on the reserve and it’s great to spread our resources onto other local community projects.”

PCWG can only agree and thank them wholeheartedly for the tremendous effort they put in. We hope it won’t be too long before we see them again.

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Portmoak Moss - Woodland Trust

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