Page last updated at 07:36 GMT, Monday, 24 May 2010 08:36 UK

Cash boost to preserve rare Cumbrian bogs

Peat bog
Peat bogs are home to a variety of plants and wildlife

Efforts to preserve threatened peat bogs on the Solway Coast in Cumbria have received a £174,000 cash boost.

Natural England has received the cash from the SITA Trust, which supports community and environmental projects.

Work will focus on more than 84 acres (34 hectares) of lowland raised bog at sites at Bowness Common, Glasson Moss and Wedholme Flow.

The sites, which have been damaged by commercial cutting, are part of the last 5% of lowland bog in England.

Alasdair Brock, senior reserve manager for Natural England, said: "These peat bogs are amazing places that have formed over many thousands of years since the last ice age.

"As well as providing a rare and important habitat for fascinating plants such as carnivorous fly eating sundews, they support a fantastic variety of wildlife from dragonflies to wading birds such as curlews."

Liz Newton, Natural England's regional director, added: "Lowland raised bogs play an important role in mitigating climate change.

"The peat in these bogs is a one of our most important carbon stores and holds millions of tonnes of carbon dioxide.

"If we do not manage and restore these bogs, they will dry out and begin to release this gas, accelerating the process of climate change."

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