Going to the bog

A visit to a bogland links with storytelling, ancient sites, unique plants and physical geography

going to the bog

Bogs are a rare and fragile habitat, home to carnivorous plants and over four thousand years old and up to three metres deep! Yet they are under serious threat...

Could we… should we… visit this place of bog spirits and bog bodies?

  • Barefoot on the Bog!
  • A rare and fragile habitat - full of insect-eating plants, spongy mosses, bottomless puddles. A living skin floating over dark wet dank layers thousands of years old
  • A visit to a bogland links with storytelling, ancient sites, unique plants and physical geography

Conservation issues are raised dealing with peat extraction, compost making and habitat creation.

Programme of study

Pupils should be taught

  • about ways in which living things and the environment need protection (Sc2 5a)
  • about the different plants and animals found in different habitats (Sc2 5b)
  • how animals and plants in two different habitats are suited to their environment (Sc2 5c)
  • how people can damage their environment and how decisions about places and environments affect the future quality of people's lives (Ge2 5a)
  • how and why people seek to manage environments sustainably, and to identify opportunities for their own involvement (Ge2 5b)
Learning objective
  • Name and describe adaptations of three plants unique to the bogland
  • Describe the major threats to boglands
  • Set bogland in historical context eg. age of car parks, conifer and mixed woodland
  • Describe structure of bogland/valley mire - valley bottom, spongy quality of sphagnum, skin over deep water, peat, compare to skin on a bowl of custard
  • Describe nature of plants and animals that are unique to the bog eg. Sphagnum moss, drosera the insect eating sundew, myrica the smelly bog myrtle
  • Attitudes to such places - scary, dangerous, endangered, wild, wasteland, uniqueness, sacred, bog spirits
  • Consider destruction of peatlands by peat extraction for domestic fuel, electricity production and garden compost - alternatives with equal water holding capacity
  • Create discussion/debate groups - Group A should, Group B should not go on to the bog or A become bog diggers, B bog protectors
  • On the bog - stress need to tread lightly with careful single file walking, weigh and squeeze sphagnum to illustrate water holding, probe bog depth
  • On to source of stream arising from bog