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Last Updated: Sunday, 12 February 2006, 10:46 GMT
Dam to protect wildlife habitat
The dam being built
The aim is to maintain the water level
Work to protect a fragile wildlife habitat in Cumbria has been completed.

A fourth earth dam has been built at Drumburgh Moss National Nature Reserve, west of Carlisle, which is home to several types of dragonflies and birds.

New pools formed by the dam have now filled up and are collecting water which was previously being lost from the moss.

The aim is to keep as much water in the bog as possible so it will expand and protect the habitat.

Many of the raised bogs in Britain have been destroyed or damaged through drainage, peat extraction and tree planting.

Important habitat

Cumbria has most of the remaining raised bogs in England and 19 of them are protected as Special Sites of Scientific Interest.

Among the wildlife which can be seen are common and black darter dragonflies and blue tailed damselflies, and occasional sightings of emperor dragonflies.

Breeding birds include stonechat, reed bunting and curlew and snipe in winter and merlins and barn owls hunt over the moss.

Cumbria Wildlife Trust northern reserves officer Belinda Lloyd said: "If the water level drops too much the bog will dry out, causing the rare mosses that make up the bog and form peat to be supplanted by other plants.

"The more water we can keep in the more the bog will expand and help to protect this fragile and important wildlife habitat."

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