CANAPE: First ground broken at Lille Vildmose

21 September 2018 - Published by Harry Mach
The work to return 2ha of arable grassland on the site of the historic Lille Vildmose to its natural state as a sphagnum bog began this week.

The first stage is to strip away the topsoil. Whilst this may look rather ugly, it is a necessary step in restoring any formerly agricultural site. Due to its past use, the topsoil of the site contains high levels of nitrogen and phosphates, which will act as a barrier to the growth of the natural bog plants on the site.

Once the topsoil has been stripped away, the water level can be raised and the spreading of sphagnum moss can begin. These plants are taken from a donor site, and the aim is to create a faster growth of moss on the site compared to spreading seed, and to more quickly bring the site back towards being a natural site.

Work at Lille Vildmose is planned in 2 stages, with the first part of the pilot constructed and seeded with sphagnum moss this autumn. Next summer, work will begin on restoring the rest of the site, and monitoring and evaluation will take place over the remainder of our project.

From this the partners will develop experience in creating new sphagnum sites.

Over time, the work should reduce the emissions from the 2ha site by over 40 tons of CO2 a year, and store a large amount of water. It will bring the area towards the condition of the existing Vildmose (pictured below)

Cotton grass on Lille Vildmose

Cottongrass growing on the wild moor of Lille Vildmose