What is a peat bog?

A bog is a wetland that accumulates peat, a deposit of partially or un-decomposed remains of plant material—often mosses, and in a majority of cases, sphagnum moss.

Peat develops under waterlogged, anaerobic soil conditions, which inhibit decomposer organisms. Peat is widespread in Wales, partly as a result of the wet climate, but also because the undulating and predominantly glaciated landscape with impermeable glacial sediment results in hollows where water can collect.

The UK has 15% of the peat bogs in the world, and most of it is found in Wales, where it covers 3-5% of the country’s surface.

The Peat Patron Site

The area of Peat Patron Wetland is situated on a north-western slope in the foothills of Snowdon at a height of around 240 metres. The site is on a slope of around 20 degrees and as such the peatland is mainly fed by groundwater runoff through the site, so the site is classed as a flush. Deep peat (greater than 50cm) is present at the site, but shallower peat is found along the west and east edges.

The vegetation is varied, but dominated by Molinia caerulea (purple moor grass). There are large patches of Narthecium ossifragum (bog asphodel) and several species of Sphagnum moss

A management plan has been produced by Snowdonia National Park to ensure that the bog is maintained and improved by encouraging natural biodiversity.

Why are peat wetlands important?

Peat wetlands are one of the planet’s most important ecosystems. They are just as vital to our survival as rainforests, but unfortunately, around 80% of UK peatlands are in a degraded state due to historical over grazing, drainage, cutting, burning and erosion.

  • Peat wetlands support a number of ecosystems to function properly, which, as a result, support human life.
  • Peat wetlands account for only approximately 3% of the Earth’s surface, but they act as a larger carbon sink than rainforests, containing more carbon than them
  • Healthy and well managed peat bogs can remove 30-70 tonnes of carbon per square kilometre from the atmosphere every year
  • Draining and drying out peat wetlands has the same effect as the deforestation of rainforests: releasing carbon dioxide back into the atmosphere.
  • Peat wetlands regulate nutrient flow and surface runoff, preventing flooding and improving water quality.
  • Peat wetlands provide a habitat for plant, invertebrate, bird and animal life, including species that have become endangered.
  • 70% of drinking water in the UK comes from upland areas and it is vital that peat bogs are in good condition, so that the water we consume is good quality.

How can I help?

Unlike rainforests that can take decades to regenerate, damaged peatlands can be restored to become healthy, carbon sequesting peat bogs in matter of years.

Peat bogs must be protected twofold: against harvesting, damage and farming practices in order to prevent the release of carbon into the atmosphere; and proactively managed to ensure the wetland continues to act as a carbon sink for many years.

If you want to help us restore and conserve the world’s most significant yet threatened ecosystem, we offer you the chance to become a Peat Patron and adopt a peat bog. This quirky, package-free eco-gift is the perfect thing for anyone who’s concerned about their impact on the world.

For £12.00 you can sponsor a section of peat bog in Snowdonia National Park for a year and become a Peat Patron.  You will receive a gift certificate detailing the unique reference of your Peat Wetland Plot and you will be invited to join our blog where you can learn about life on the bog through the changing seasons. It’s an eco-friendly, ethical gift you can feel comfortable giving, knowing your impact is working for the environment, not against it.

Sponsor a peat bog today!