Saturday 15 January 2011

Scoping out a peat bank at Bolsay

It was pouring with rain this morning - conditions that James and Duncan considered perfect for going up on to the moss at Bolsay to decide on a new peat bank that they propose to open up this year.
The going was quite hard for a while - we checked out a few possibilities but they were all rejected - usually because it would have been difficult to get the peats off the moss.
The ground was reasonably firm in places, but is traversed by some very wet bits.  Tractors have been lost here.  "The bigger the tractor the further down they go", I was cheerfully told...

We eventually found somewhere suitable.  A couple of bridges will have to be built - using pipes topped with quarry waste - before a tractor could be brought on.
There used to be hundreds of folk working at the peats up here.  The land is terraced with the remains of the old banks.  This wee shed would have been built to provide shelter when it closed in, and it provides just enough of a lee to allow the dreaded Rhododendron ponticum to survive.
Also managing to thrive by cuddling up to the shed is this Cotoneaster shrub - complete with just one bright berry.  I guess it must have been brought here as seed by a passing bird - unless the original owner of the shed was an enthusiastic gardener...


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