Friday, 21 December 2012


Carmio's challenge this week was a real poser!

I don't get to any blighted places, or old industrial sites (though there are plenty round here.) But eventually I thought of Danes Moss.

There are a lot of interesting geological reasons why Danes Moss is a big area of lowland peat. Peat digging has gone on there since Medieval times, and only ended in the 1960's. Leaving a desolate area of acidic pools, which filled with reeds, and scraggy alder trees on the drier bits.

In places, the old rails and sleepers can be seen, along which trucks, pulled by ponies and filled with peat, could be taken to the nearby canal and loaded onto narrow boats. Old photographs show it to be a very busy industrial area, a bit like open-cast mining, only wetter!

A small plantation of conifers, and the overgrown peat cuttings gave a spooky air to the whole place. It was always very quiet, apart from the hissing of the electricity cables carried by pylons over the area.

However, the pools attracted a number of dragonflies, plus rare mosses and peat-loving plants, and the area was designated a Nature Reserve. This has led to the plantation of conifers being cleared, and a boardwalk built right across the old peat diggings.

Ex-industrial, but the 'disease' bit is being cured, I think!

1 comment:

Bob Scotney said...

Nature will reclaim it in the end. Nice idea, Gilly.