Monday, 16 November 2015

Adventures in Haggie Gutter

Earlier in the year we had a few days out with our peatland expert Emily Taylor at our Talla and Gameshope estate. Now that the sheep have been removed, we were looking for areas of bare or exposed peat sites that would need further intervention than just the removal of grazing. We identified a small area below Talla Crags called Haggie Gutter. A great name by all accounts but also one that maybe tells a tale - Haggie may refer to peat hags, of which there were a few.
 
Emily making some notes
Following a small survey of the site, we decided that some small scale re-profiling of the peat hags as well as laying out jute mesh would do just the trick. Fortunately we were able to apply for funding through Peatland Action for these works and were delighted to find out in September that we were successful.
 
After ordering the materials, the first challenge was to get them on site. This was an area of un-chartered quad biking so we recruited expert quad driver and contractor Keith for a couple of days to help us explore some routes and get the materials delivered.
 
If only every day was this sunny!
We had the odd tricky stream crossing to tackle
But we managed to get there in the end!
 
And then it was time to get the work done. Thanks to the sterling effort of a great team, we managed to get all the work done before winter hits!

Les doing some re-profiling. Using a mattock, we simply undercut the peat on top to de-stabilise it
We started by covering the edges with the jute mesh to prevent the exposed area from getting any bigger

After a first layer was done, we added a second below, and then a third, until we had used all the jute mesh


Until at the end the whole site was covered!
Our volunteer super team - (L-R) Robin, John, Les, Annelise and Olive
The work we have done is very similar to our Little Firthhope project which we know has been a success. So we're looking forward to re-visiting the site in a years time to see the difference!

Lynn
Site Officer

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