Wednesday, 28 May 2008

Barvas Moor

Tuesday 27th May, 2008

We went back ‘home’ along the Pentland Road - a single track road which crosses Barvas Moor almost the whole way from Carloway on the West Coast to Stornoway on the East.

This huge, low-lying and largely undisturbed expanse of blanket bog is one of the most extensive and intact areas of blanket bog on the planet. The Lewis Peatlands Special Protection Area (SPA) site contains a large proportion of the blanket bog on the Isle of Lewis. Blanket bog is rare in world terms and Britain has a significant proportion of the total world resource. Within Britain, the Lewis Peatlands are second in extent only to the Caithness and Sutherland peatlands. Associated with these peatlands and open water is a unique and diverse assemblage of breeding birds that is of international importance.

People are forever commenting upon the importance of trees to the environment and the retention of the ozone layer. In fact, peat bogs are equally, if not more, important in that regard. Peat bogs act as an effective mechanism for fixing and storing carbon or ‘carbon sinks’. The bulk of carbon associated with peat bogs is stored in the organic soil (peat). Construction on peat bogs can cause erosion of the peat and a release of stored carbon. This was one of the reasons behind the Scottish government's decision to reject an application for a wind farm on Barvas Moor.

Cutting peat on Barvas Moor.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for your article. Do you have any information on the depth of the peat on Barvas moor, or know of anyone who might ?


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