Highlands & Islands

3D model proposed for Flow Country's blanket bog

Flow Country Image copyright Lorne Gill/SNH
Image caption The Flow Country covers large parts of Caithness and Sutherland

The creation of a 3D virtual model of the Flow Country has been proposed to help people better understand Europe's biggest blanket bog.

Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH), which is part of a project to restore large areas of the peatland, said the model could form part of a new website.

The Flow Country stretches across Caithness and Sutherland and involves about 494,210 acres (200,000ha).

As well as the 3D model, a documentary film has also been suggested.

Image copyright Lorne Gill/SNH
Image caption A new website could be dedicated to the peatland

Last summer, the Peatlands Partnership began Flow to the Future, a five-year £10.5m Heritage Lottery-funded project to restore hundreds of acres of peatland.

The partnership comprises SNH, Forestry Commission Scotland, Highland Council, RSPB Scotland, Plantlife International, the Environmental Research Institute UHI, Highlands and Islands Enterprise, The Flow Country Rivers Trust, The Northern Deer Management Group, Confederation of Forest Industries (UK) Ltd., and The Highland Third Sector Interface.

Commercial forestry is being felled and ditches blocked to waterlog large areas of peat, which is a natural store of carbon and provides habitat to a range of wildlife.

Image copyright BBC/Meomi Design Inc/Vampire Squid Productions
Image caption The Octonauts inspired other virtual experiences of Scotland's natural environment

SNH has used online technology before to provide the public with an interactive experience of Scotland's environment.

Virtual experiences of Loch Sunart Special Area of Conservation, Sound of Barra and the Small Isles were created between 2011 and last year.

The project was inspired by how Cbeebies' series Octonauts was encouraging children to become interested in marine wildlife.

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