The Marches Mosses BogLIFE project in Shropshire and Wales was an award-winning five-year initiative designed to restore Britain’s third-largest lowland raised peatbog within the Fenn’s, Whixall and Bettisfield Mosses National Nature Reserves. RAB was one of the delivery partners for the project, working alongside Natural England, Shropshire Wildlife Trust, Brian Killingworth, WSP and WM Longreach.
RAB were involved in design alterations, contractor procurement, contract management and construction supervision of the restoration of Marshes Mosses on the English/Welsh boarder in Shropshire. Large areas of the bog had dried out and the bog-specialist plants, such as sundews, sphagnums, white-faced darter dragonflies and raft spiders had reduced dramatically in number. The cutting of peat that had developed over millennia, also released huge amounts of carbon into the atmosphere and reduced the amount of carbon that the sites could store.
Works included the construction of numerous clay core bunds with inlet and outlet controls leading to two large ponds to keep the peat wetted all year and encourage the return of birds increasing biodiversity. A bird hide was constructed with an associated disabled access and parking spaces. The project delivered increased sustainability to Marches Mosses, increasing carbon capture capability of the area. The award-winning restoration project ensured the longevity of the peatland habitat, providing significant ecological benefits to local bird populations, notwithstanding the broader increase in biodiversity provided through the restoration project.
Following the completion of this project, RAB were commissioned to complete further similar works on two fields at Sinkers Fields adjacent to Marches Mosses. These works are currently being undertaken and have included the installation of spurs in the ponds of both Sinkers Fields and Marches Mosses to enable bird usage of the ponds and accessibility of a variety of species. Activity of wildlife on these spurs has already been witnessed during site visits to oversee construction works. By holding and slowing the flow of rainwater the ponds function to help maintain base flows in drought periods and provide a clean source of water to the River Severn and River Dee. In addition to this the bunds created have been covered in coir matting and reseeded to allow grass species to establish across the bogs. As a result of the bog restoration there has been an improvement in physical habitat and natural processes here at the Mosses.
Further information on the BogLIFE project can be found on both the Shropshire Wildlife Trust website https://www.shropshirewildlifetrust.org.uk/nature-reserves/charles-sinker-fields) and the Natural England website (https://themeresandmosses.co.uk)
RAB deliver a wide range of asset management and engineering services for both public and private sector organisations. More information is available here on our website, or you can get in touch for an informal discussion on your specific project by email to email@example.com or call our head office in Lichfield on 0330 223 6475.