Carmarthenshire Peat Bogs
Formed over thousands of years, lowland bogs are increasingly rare examples of an important peatland habitat that support specialised and often threatened wildlife. They are amazing habitats. You may well be familiar with images of the vast blanket bogs in upland areas of Britain and Ireland but you may be surprised to learn that within Carmarthenshire we have some important lowland bogs, which have developed within our landscape over thousands of years. Today they are survivors of an ancient landscape now dominated by agriculture and forestry.
In 2015 a partnership led by Carmarthenshire County Council received a grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) to explore some of these bog habitats in the county. The project focused on five areas of lowland bog on areas of common land near Brechfa and Llanfynydd. The Partnership is made up of Carmarthenshire County Council, Swansea University, Dyfed Archaeological Trust and National Botanic Garden of Wales.
During the long period of their formation bog habitats have slowly grown and have kept a hidden history of their development and the changes in the landscape around them over thousands of years. For one site, Pyllau Cochion near Horeb, Swansea University studied preserved pollen and plant remains taken from a 6-m deep peat core, from a bog that started forming after the last Ice Age.
Practical action has been taken to help conserve these important habitats for the future - firebreaks were cut, a ditch blocked, fly tipping removed and Japanese knotweed treated – helping make the sites more suitable for grazing and protecting them from arson.
Dyfed Archaeological Trust worked with local schools on visits to Mynydd Bach common where, as well as learning about bog habitats, they explored a group of Bronze Age round barrows and found out more about the prehistoric landscape and the people who lived there.
For more information on the project visit: http://www.carmarthenshire.gov.wales/home/council-services/planning/biodiversity/hlf-bogs-project/#.WucWCn8o9hE