While Sally travelled south to the New Forest for a Society of National Park Staff event Duncan was hard at work closer to home. Prestwick Carr is a peatland site of national importance on the edge of Newcastle upon Tyne. Part of the work of Northumberland Wildlife Trust is currently in helping to repair the damage done on this land by past drainage. So today I (Duncan) was out getting on with the job of blocking old drainage ditches with some colleagues from the Trust.
The first part of the job was delivering materials out onto the site which was achieved using a quad bike and trailer. The ground is rough and hard to negotiate in places but by taking small loads the materials were delivered close to where they will be used. Much of the day had gone by the time the materials were out but we still had time to put in a couple of dams in the ditches.
The idea of damming the ditches is to raise water levels. Raised water levels will help to repair the peat bog and thus protect it for the future. We are using recycled plastic for the dams as access here is awkward and the peat is rather too dry to use as a dam in its own right. Once these dams fill up behind them the site will begin to recover. They are quite hard work to install but there is a satisfaction when each one is completed, particularly when it begins to hold water behind it.