Habitat in Focus; Peat Bog

peat bog blanket bog pont cymru conservation grazingPeat bog is one of Wales’ priority habitats. A typical habitat of our uplands, peat bog/ blanket bog is typified by a thick base layer of peat which supports bog-mosses, heathers and cotton-grasses. The acidic nature of peat leads to an interesting matrix of plant species, including bog asphodel and insectivorous sundews and butterwort. Golden plover and dragonflies such as the black darter fly over the bog pools and in Wales, the endangered water vole finds a safe haven in our upland bog systems.

Sensitive conservation grazing is in use across Wales as part of peatland restoration programmes. Part of the remit of the Welsh Peatlands Sustainable Management Scheme is to introduce low level grazing to control Molinia and conifer re-generation, and support the colonisation of natural, peat-forming vegetation.

Section a ponies carmel nnr wtsww bog restoration

Ponies grazing bog restoration at WTSWW Carmel NNR

Grazing, browsing and trampling by native wild animals are components of natural bog ecosystems in the UK but stocking levels must be kept low to avoid vegetation damage [1]. Careful consideration is required to avoid spots of bare peat. Animals will need to be removed from site in winter.

Conservation Grazing is livestock grazing, which delivers multiple benefits for wildlife and people now and into the future. PONT works with individuals and organisations to deliver appropriate grazing regimes for the benefit of wildlife. We have assisted with peatland/ bog restoration projects such as the Penaran Blanket Bog restoration and at WTSWW Carmel NNR.

[1] IUCN UK Committee Peatland Programme Briefing Note No. 7 Grazing and Trampling

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