media release

A bog’s life

For immediate release: 22 August 2011


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Local nature enthusiasts from the Lyth Valley joined the RSPB, Natural England and expert local naturalists last week for an exploration of the amazing wildlife that thrives in local bogs.

More than 20 people gathered at Savinhill bog last Thursday (18 August), where nature conservation experts introduced them to the range of flora and fauna that thrive in the wetland habitat.

Savinhill is one of a handful of nationally scarce and unique raised bog habitats found in the Lyth Valley. It is  home to many specialist plant species including sphagnum moss, bog rosemary, and sundew, which gets much of its nutrition from eating flies. The bog also supports reptiles including adders and lizards, bees and dragonflies and declining bird species such as the tree pipit.

Tonia Armer of the RSPB, who organised the walk, said: “People often think of bogs as unproductive and unattractive places, but in fact they are unique habitats that support rare and specially adapted plants and animals.

“Peat has been developing on sites such as Savinhill moss for the last 5,000- 10,000 years, providing a valuable historic record of what life was like in the Lyth Valley through time.

“Besides supporting a range of wildlife, bogs also store large amounts of carbon, which makes them very important in the battle against climate change.”

The RSPB and other partners are working with farmers and other land managers in the Lyth Valley to restore lowland raised bogs by helping them to access wildlife-friendly farming grants. 

This work forms part of Morecambe Bay Futurescapes, a landscape-scale conservation project that aims to restore and create a network of wildlife-rich wetland habitats extending onto the coastal plain that surrounds Morecambe Bay and along the adjacent river valleys of the Duddon, Leven, Kent, Keer, Lune and Wyre.

For further information, please contact:

Chris Collett, RSPB  Regional Communications Manager, 0191 233 4317, 07885 834 889
Tonia Armer, Cumbria Wetland Project Advisor, 07921 740 741

Photo below shows local people at the Savinhill Bog event on Thursday 18 August 2011.

Morecambe Bay Futurescapes is the RSPB’s contribution to the Morecambe Bay Wildlife Network (MBWN), a consortium of organisations who are working together to deliver a 50-year vision to secure the existing network of high value habitats. This will be achieved by expanding and developing these sites and creating buffers and links between them. The MBWN will also maintain and develop the economic and social benefits arising from the network of habitats around Morecambe Bay.