This will cover about 15 square kilometres.
Most of the sphagnum we plant is propagated and supplied as plug plants. The plugs normally contain a mixture of 12 different sphagnum species.
We’re experimenting with a different mixture containing only 5 species, but ones that form hummocks. These are the best bog-building species, but also the least abundant on the degraded bogs we are trying to restore. We’re hoping that by focusing on planting these types of sphagnum, we can make sure the really crucial sphagnum species colonise the moors, leading to a faster improvement in their condition.
Some of our sphagnum is translocated from sites that are rich in sphagnum, including some stock from Wales. Wherever we use the translocation technique, we are careful to take only up to 10% so that the donor site is left undamaged, and we carry out biosecurity checks to ensure we’re not spreading disease.
We also use tiny fragments suspended in a medium to form beads, which are easy to spread, or a gel which is spread in ‘blobs’ using a dispensing machine.
Early results show that we may be able to grow sustainable, cost-effective sphagnum moss on rafts in reservoirs
We’re cutting dense patches of heather, cotton grass and purple moor grass to allow a mixture of other species to return, making for a healthier mix of moorland plants