Grand Tour of Scotland: Day 9: 20 August 2019 ~Exploring the Isle of Lewis and Harris #491

Peatlands on Rocky East Coast of Harris

More than 20% of land in Scotland is covered by peat. Peatlands also hold most of Scotland’s carbon store, and according to NatureScot, they hold the equivalent of 140 years’ worth of Scotland’s total annual greenhouse gas emissions, so have a vital role in helping us tackle climate change.

Peatland restoration is becoming increasingly high profile, with Scottish Government proposing £250 million over 10 years to help meet climate targets and help Scotland work towards its ambition of zero net carbon by 2045.

Not only can Scotland peatlands sequester carbon if correctly managed, better management of peat could have numerous positive environmental impacts, from protection of drinking water to improvement of flood management.

The importance of Peatlands:

The importance of peatland as a carbon store has gained increasing recognition in recent years, but peat bogs also provide an interesting habitat in their own right. Far from being the bleak wasteland that is sometimes perceived, they support a wide diversity of plants that provide both ecological and cultural benefits.

Peat is formed from plant material that does not fully decompose in acidic and anaerobic conditions, and sphagnum moss is one of the main contributors to its development. The rough surface of sphagnum moss can also slow down water run-off, helping to reduce peak flood levels downstream. There are at least 30 species of sphagnum moss in Scotland, with the greatest abundance and diversity on the wettest bogs and those in the north and west.

Interesting fact:
In the First World War it was used as a wound dressing

Hare’s tail Cotton grass or Bog Cotton is a good indicator of areas where the peat is deeper than 50cm. It is widespread throughout Scotland but is particularly dominant on peatlands in the eastern Highlands, where it plays a major role in peat formation. It is also the main foodplant for the caterpillars of the Large Heath Butterfly. It is distinguished from two other cotton-grass species (which tend to grow in wetter hollows) by its single, rather than multiple, flower heads.

Interesting Fact:
In the past it was used for candle wicks and to stuff pillows

Scotlands Farm Advisory Service

For more information on Peatlands please click on the link above. I am sure you will find it just as interesting as I did.

Peatlands and surroundings on Harris, Outer Hebrides, Isle of Lewis and Harris, Scotland

Information about photo:

  • Location: On route to Beacravik Outer Hebrides, Isle of Lewis and Harris, Scotland, United Kingdom
  • Date Taken: 2019-08-20
  • Camera: Canon EOS 7D Mark II
  • Lens: Canon Zoom Lens EF-S 18-200 mm F/3-5.6 IS
  • Metering Mode: Center Weighted Average
  • Exposure Program: Manual
  • Image Quality: JPEG
  • F-Stop: f/6.3
  • Exposure Time: 1/1250 sec
  • ISO Speed: ISO-200
  • Focal Length: 18 mm
  • Handheld
  • Post Processing: Adobe Photoshop CS6
  • Photographer: Coreen Kuhn

Thank you very much for taking the time to join me on my travels through Scotland one Photo at a time. I hope you enjoyed it just as much as I did.

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Have a Blessed day


PS. ☕ I am busy saving for a few upcoming Landscape Photography Trips to Namibia and a few local National Parks here in South Africa. The most important one is honoring my promise to Dad to go back to Scotland and capture the beautiful landscapes and Puffins. Your help to make these trips a reality would be much appreciated in today’s economy.

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