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NEXT EVENTMoth of the Month

Chris's Project: July 2018
When one of our members, Chris Vlasto, died his family gifted the donations made at his funeral to the Portmoak Community Woodland Group. We are using the money to create a new play area in our Community Orchard. A large area has been levelled and an amphitheatre has been created. There is also a picnic area. We'll be grassing over and putting in tables over the next month or two.


National Bog Day: 22 July 2018, Portmoak Moss
You were probably excited about National Bog Day - it's right up there with Christmas and Pancake Day. We celebrated it at Portmoak Moss. A couple of dozen people were guided around the Moss, spotting dragonflies and damselflies. Moths and butterflies had been trapped the night before, identified and then we released them. We also did some dipping (ponds, not other people's pockets). Interesting and fun event!

Himalayan Balsam: June 2018
This is an invasive species which spreads very rapidly and we are seeing signs of it encroaching on the Moss. Rapid intervention is required - if it spreads its seeds then it can quickly overrun a large area. We went down and removed it and we expect this to be an ongoing effort for the next few years.

MP visit: 30 May 2018
Our local MP, Luke Graham asked to visit us to hear about the work we are doing on Portmoak Moss. We toured our site and explained about the environmental importance of bogs in general and Portmoak in particular.

Teacher education: May 2018
One of our team, Marje Smith, has developed an educational page called 'Let's Talk Bogs'. She trained a large group of teachers on how to use it and it is expected to become part of the curriculum. Visits by classes are already being scheduled.

Portmoak Primary School in the orchard: May 2018
Children from the local primary school spent a morning in the orchard clearing weeds around our fruit trees and surveying butterflies and insects. They also had a brainstorming session to generate ideas for how to use the new amphitheatre area that is being created by Chris's Project. A nature trail, dog shows, a labyrinth, and a garden festival were among the great ideas they had. All very timely too as we we soon be doing the required reprofiling work.

Bog Squad popping and pulling: 29 April 2018
This year we're trying to find a better way than using chemicals to control birch regeneration. This was our second popping and pulling day. The idea is to drag the birch out by the roots, give it a good talking too, then encourage it to break down to become peat. The Bog Squad are the real professionals at this and they spent a day with us. We now have a large area cleared of birch regen and we'll be able to compare the effectiveness of doing it this way against using weedkiller.

Annual General Meeting: 17 April 2018

The office bearers were re-elected. Jeff Gunnell is the Chair, Louise Batchelor is the Secretary and Lesley Botten is the Treasurer.
We're in good shape financially with enough funds to be able to keep putting on public events free of charge but also able to respond rapidly to opportunities, like buying more land or paying for projects, should a suitable opportunity crop up.
We looked back on what we've done in the last year and we're pleased with the balance between management activities and public events.
The constitution is here.
And if you want to see the minutes of the AGM, they are here.

Insects, moths, butterflies, dragonflies, bumblebees

There's an amazing number of insects living in the Moss - and the diversity has increased a lot because of the work that has been done to restore the peat dome. Butterfly Conservation  http://www.eastscotland-butterflies.org.uk/  do an incredible job of monitoring and recording moths and butterflies across the UK. Our local people are George Guthrie and Duncan Davidson. If you ever see strange lights in the Moss late at night, there's a good chance that it's George trapping moths and butterflies ready to identify, count and record them. Sometimes they put on special events for us too.

This file shows what they've seen on the Moss so far in 2017 - there's 102 species.

Portmoak Moss viewed from Kilmagad Wood, with Loch Leven and Benarty Hill in the background

Fine views, delightful walking and an ambitious project to restore a commercial plantation to a raised peat bog.

Located at Scotlandwell, near to Kinross and the M90, about midway between the Forth Road Bridge and Perth.