Vital wetland restored to natural glory
A 50-YEAR healing operation for internationally-important wetlands in the North has taken a major step forward.
A £700,000 project to push forward the restoration of the 12,000-year-old Border Mires has been completed nearly two years ahead of schedule. Over 2,500 acres of the Border Mires – one of the world’s most important wetland habitats – have been reinstated in a drive which has seen 800,000 conifers felled on Forestry Commission land and 15 kilometres of drains blocked to raise the water table.
The work has been completed in three years by the Forestry Commission, Northumberland Wildlife Trust, Northumberland National Park, Natural England, Newcastle University and RAF Spadeadam.
Neville Geddes, from the Forestry Commission, said: “For the Border Mires it’s now a question of time. Most of the critical work has been done and the bogs will gradually heal over hundreds of years, laying down new peat and supporting ever more flourishing colonies of bog plants and insects.
“We get dazzled by the wonders of the rain forest and marvellous ancient woodlands. But while bogs may lack the same visual impact, in many ways they are an even more endangered and fragile habitat.”
Formed after the Ice Age, the Border Mires straddle Northumberland and Cumbria, and have been designated as Special Area of Conservation under the European Habitats Directive, in addition to multiple designations as sites of special scientific interest.
Britain holds approximately 13% of the world resource of blanket bog so the mires are especially important.