A play commissioned by Moors for the Future Partnership has been entertaining young audiences and introducing them to the wonders of moorland and peat bogs.
Bogtastic!, created and produced by Babbling Vagabonds Storytelling Theatre was performed for four days in Buxton’s Pavilion Gardens and played to enthusiastic family audiences.
It told the story of Bilberry and Cottongrass, two bog fairies who work to protect Pete, a friendly boggy monster. With the moors they love threatened by centuries of industrial pollution and with Pete in danger of releasing precious carbon into the atmosphere, the fairies find they need to work with the ‘hapless humans’ they once feared.
Robbie Carnegie, Senior Communications Officer at Moors for the Future Partnership said: ‘We are always looking for new ways to engage with audiences about peatlands and how important they are to us all as a store of carbon, natural flood management, improving water quality and as a habitat for moorland species. Moors for the Future Partnership has been working since 2003 to restore the peatlands of the Peak District and South Pennine moors back to life. But it’s important that future generations understand the importance of this threatened resource so that it can continue to be protected. The Bogtastic! play gave us an original way to tell that story.’
Despite heavy rain over the performance weekend, Buxton audiences turned out to see the show in large numbers and were very receptive to its message, with young audience members and their parents not only enjoying the play (and joining in with the Bogtastic Rap), but also fascinated to hear more about the importance of the area’s peatlands. A extra treat was the chance to handle sphagnum moss, the unique bog-building plant, which helps to soak up water, stablise bare peat, as well as to create new peat as it grows.
Mark Hornsey from Babbling Vagabonds said: ‘What a fun, educational experience Bogtastic! has been! We have learned so much about our moorlands through this creative journey. By working together we can do so much. By planting sphagnum moss we help repair the damage to our peatlands, making them a visual delight, a wildlife haven, help reduce carbon emissions and ultimately help climate change. It is great when we can use our theatre and storytelling skills to help share the important information in a family-friendly way. We hope that by making Peat a character – an ancient old being – we have made it easier for families to care and learn to love the environment we live in.’