Shared Earth is a new series from the BBC Natural History Unit which celebrates the natural world and explores what we can all do to help conserve wildlife and habitats and reduce our footprint on the planet
We're keen to hear your suggestions for future programmes via our Contact Us page or write to Shared Earth, BBC NHU Radio, Bristol BS8 2LR
Friday 19 January 2007
Shared Earth uncovers the natural history of a winter wood beyond its bleak and bare beauty
The Exmoor Mire Restoration Project is spending over a quarter of a million pounds restoring the bogs on Exmoor. Peatlands have suffered damage in the past from peat cutting and agricultural drainage. By putting in small dams across ditches that have been cut into the moor and by placing heather bales in front of and behind them to act as sponges, the water which lands on these upland areas can once again be held in the bogs and the water flow off the moor can be better managed which also helps the rivers further down stream. This project also helps the peat in the bog to reform - peatlands are a vital habitat for many wetland species of both plants and animals. Sphagnum moss is one of the most important peatland plants - able to hold twenty times its dry weight in water. Such bog restoration projects are underway in several parts of the UK and may help with the increasing drought and flash flood problems in changing climatic conditions.
Purchasing a Small Woodland
Advice for individuals and community groups considering purchasing and managing small woodlands can be found from these woodland organisations: