Lancashire Wildlife Trust recently started with the restoration works at their Carbon Farm pilot site at Winmarleigh Moss and the planting activities for their 'companion planting pilot' at Little Woolden Moss.
Winmarleigh Moss Carbon Farm
The capital works have now started on the Winmarleigh Moss Carbon Farm, situated on former lowland raised bog that had been drained for agricultural use in the 1970s. The carbon farm will be growing a permanent, non-harvested cover crop of specialised bog species (Sphagnum), grown for the purpose of protecting soil carbon and sequestering further atmospheric carbon. Ground preparations to help re-wet the site and remove nutrient-enriched soil have just been completed. The top 10cm of nutrient rich topsoil was stripped and a series of bunds and ditches were installed to create a series of cells across the site. A sump has also been dug for the irrigation and hydrology control system. Once the rewetting works are complete and a solar powered pump is installed, the cells will be wet enough for the planting of 175,000 sphagnum moss plugs - this is expected to start in August or September 2020.
Little Woolden Moss Companion Planting Trial
At Little Woolden Moss we are looking at the effect of targeted recolonization with mixes of Sphagnum mosses and sedges on the restoration of this bare peat former extraction site with the aim to return the site to a CO2 sink. So far 15,000 plugs of cotton grasses have been planted, which will be followed by the mosses later in the year. Gas exchange fluxes will be monitored to identify the best planting approach for future peatland restoration projects.