16 Comments
Apr 19Liked by Jack Wallington

This is so interesting. Love the full bleed pictures too, it really brings your words to life.

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Thanks Bella, I just discovered that photo option! I think it’s new

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Apr 19Liked by Jack Wallington

As usual a fantastic article and beautifully composed photos that transport you to the place!! This is an important message, peatlands are important and restoring them can be very hard but the rewards are vast. Every restoration project there will be lessons learned and things that will inform future efforts. Thanks for the fantastic article, it looks like it was an amazing trip.

Hopefully someday I will be lucky enough to visit and see these peatlands.

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Thanks Paul, yes it was a great place to visit with someone who could tell us about it all. It’s great to see the damage can be reversed but it’s painfully slow. Making the stopping of all new damage so urgent.

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Apr 20Liked by Jack Wallington

How were the rocks and other materials transported to locations within Fleet Moss?

Living in Colorado, USA, where our average rainfall is 15 inches, this is about as opposite a landscape as I can imagine.

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The rocks are delivered by helicopter, not ideal but the only way on boggy terrain

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What a profoundly beautiful read. A true ode to the bog! Thank you for an insightful article and equally insightful photos.

To be honest, I'm convinced Jenny and Lyndon happen to have one of the best jobs on the planet.

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Thank you Ramona, yes, it must be satisfying working on these projects, though I saw some of the conditions they have to work in winter and it doesn’t seem quite so fun 😄

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I can only imagine! Mad respect for them. It's one of those things you get into fully aware that you may not see much progress during your lifetime, but in the long term, your actions will have an immeasurable impact. Way to sleep soundly at night!

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Apr 21Liked by Jack Wallington

Lovely story. In the Australian Alps there's a very similar ecosystem, but the main threat has been cattle and horse grazing. After a hundred years, they finally removed the cattle grazing from the national parks, but wild horses and other introduced hard hooved animals are still causing significant damage. Bogs are important for retaining the snow melt for summer water flows, and are hugely diverse with one of the most interesting species being the Corroboree frog: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corroboree_frog

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Thanks for sharing Will, I always find it interesting hearing about habitats in other parts of the world.

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Apr 21Liked by Jack Wallington

That was great Jack, thanks. So many mistakes were made in the past, often with the best of intentions but borne out of an attitude that nature only exists to support our economic needs. Ella McSweeney wrote a good piece in the Irish Times on Saturday about attempts to restore blanket bogs in the west of Ireland which were drained for monoculture forestry, hopefully you don't mind me linking here: https://www.irishtimes.com/environment/2024/04/20/restoring-bogs-is-more-complex-than-just-removing-trees/

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Thanks Feargal, Ireland has some of the most degraded peat bogs due to its use in burning for fuel and for peat compost. But that also means an opportunity for a big carbon capture gain by turning that around. Other people have told me the sentiment in Ireland is still a way off from that, but I guess it could be changing?

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I wish I could paint a positive picture Jack. The politics around peat extraction have become poisonous with populist politicians happy to use it as a wedge issue. They have sought to portray any attempts to restrict turf cutting as ordinary people being persecuted by an out-of-touch urban elite epitomised by the Green Party; in rural Ireland private property rights have always been seen as trumping any other rights. There are significant economic interests at play also though as Ireland continues to export significant amounts of peat for everything from mushroom growing to UK garden centres. It's got to the point now where the European Commission has referred Ireland to the European Court Of Justice for failing to protect designated bogs from cutting, despite long running negotiations with turf cutters and compensation and relocation schemes being put in place. There are rare successes like Scohaboy Bog in north Tipperary which is a good example of a community-led bog restoration scheme; a glimmer of hope in a fairly dismal landscape.

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Thanks for sharing this interesting story. Love the imagery!

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Thanks Joe, it was such a lovely place to photograph, despite the damage. I guess made more positive by the recovery.

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