Invitation made to take part in peatland restoration

A chance has emerged for folk to help restore an area of bogland this weekend – but willing participants are being encouraged to bring their wellies.

The invitation to Girlsta tomorrow (Sunday) has been made by Shetland Amenity Trust to coincide with International ‘Bog Day’.

The aim is to raise awareness of the valuable role peatlands play in tackling climate change.

It is hoped people can gain an understanding of how best to protect the hugely effective carbon stores.

The trust has been involved in peatland restoration for the past seven years.

Peatland restoration officer Sue White said: “Healthy peatlands are huge carbon stores. However, damaged bogs dry out and release carbon into the atmosphere. One hectare of damaged peatland
is emitting as much carbon dioxide as four to five family sized cars every year.

“Restoration of eroding gullies, hags and bare peat has been carried out at the site at Girlsta by specialist contractors over the last two years.

“The final part of the process is to transplant bog vegetation such as Sphagnum moss, which is one of the main peat forming plants, onto the restored bog.”

The chance to see some of the work the trust has been doing – and add finishing touches to the site – is being offered.

Ms White said there was an opportunity for people to “literally immerse” themselves in nature knowing that they are helping reverse carbon dioxide losses.

Tomorrow’s event will take place from 2pm, with participants asked to meet opposite the old Girlsta Chapel on the Girlsta to Strom road.

The site is a 15 minute walk over rough ground. The trust has described sturdy, waterproof footwear as “essential”.

It says a bucket would also be helpful.

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