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Last Updated: Saturday, 31 July, 2004, 13:55 GMT 14:55 UK
Insight into threatened peat bogs
Peat bog
Peat bogs are one of the most threatened habitats in Europe
Nature lovers are out in force in Cumbria to discover the wildlife living in the county's rare peat bogs.

The Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) is hosting a tour of its Bowness Common nature reserve on the south Solway.

The peatlands are home to birds such as skylarks and curlew, and wintering birds of prey like the hen harrier.

The event coincides with similar ones being held world-wide to celebrate the threatened wetlands.

Unique wildlife

The RSPB has been urging the government to declare the Solway Moss and Bolton Fell Moss in Cumbria as conservation areas.

The RSPB says more than 90% of the UK's lowland peat bogs have been damaged or destroyed.

Most of Britain's remaining bogs are now safe but government promises to preserve Solway Moss and Bolton Fell Moss in Cumbria have yet to be fulfilled, the RSBP says.

Norman Holton of the RSPB said: "Their ancient depths hold buried archaeological treasures, while the surface layer is home to a wealth of unique wildlife, including carnivorous plants, Britain's only bog butterfly and breeding birds, such as the curlew.

"Peat bogs are one of the rarest and most precious wildlife habitats in Europe and it is a dreadful irony that gardeners are still using peat to grow their own plants."

Amateur gardeners are responsible for two thirds of peat use in the UK and the RSPB says gardeners can help in the battle to save the remaining bogs by turning their back on peat-based products.

Call to save threatened peat bogs
29 Jun 04  |  Cumbria
Peat industry 'needs' more ground
05 Nov 01  |  England
Protection for peat bogs
25 Aug 00  |  UK News

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