A small dam in place along a former drain in the peat bog, on the Dubh Lochan trail at Forsinard Flows RSPB nature reserve

Dam it!

Graham Thompson reports on the Peatland Partnership's Flows to the Future project.

We're half way through!

"We're now half way through the Peatland Partnership's ambitious Flows to the Future project, which will help restore 15 square kilometres of vital bog on former forestry plantation.

Following discussions between Scottish Natural Heritage and the RSPB and other land managers, the Government's Scottish Rural Development Fund will now pay for the construction of peat dams to block drainage ditches that are affecting peatland. This includes numerous furrows that resulted from ploughing prior to tree-planting.

The project target area will mean installing 200,000 dams, which will cost the RSPB around £1.25 million!

When a funder is prepared to pay for this work, we’re required to tell them exactly where we’ll put each one. As the number of dams will be huge, this presents a bit of an issue.

So the North Scotland RSPB region has invested in a drone. We’ll use it to take aerial photographs of each of the blocks, where each and every dam will be visible, and from which it will be possible to assess whether the dam is functioning properly. Neil Cowie, Reserve Ecologist, used the drone at Forsinard Flows nature reserve when he last visited and we were astonished with the photographs he was able to take using it. They show just how much damming work has been done over the years, and the enormity of the task that lies ahead.

Thanks to you!

It is through you, our generous supporters, that we can buy such necessary equipment. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank you from the bottom of my heart."

- Graham Thompson, Site Manager at Forsinard Flows

RSPB Forsinard Flows; view from visitor trail, including snow-capped Ben Griam, Highland, Scotland

Help restore the Flow Country

Forsinard RSPB reserve, Sutherland, Scotland

The life is being sucked out of the Flow Country. You can do something to help - for all the birds and other wildlife whose existence depends on this unique habitat.