One of our members, Martin Rhodes, has been working with Cumbria Wildlife Trust to ensure that the “Classics over Sands” donation is spent on a specific local initiative. It has been decide that it should be spent on the ongoing management works at Foulshaw and Meathop Mosses Nature Reserves.
These two Nature Reserves are near Witherslack, just outside Grange-over-Sands. They are lowland raised mires (sphagnum peat bogs) a relatively rare habitat in the UK which is concentrated in the North West. Many UK raised mires have been drained in the past so that the land could be used for grazing, afforestation, etc. This causes the peat body to dry out and sphagnum moss to stop growing.
Peatlands store vast quantities of carbon – ‘locking in’ an estimated 3.2 billion tonnes in the UK alone. Where conditions allow sphagnum to continue to grow, it continues to absorb more carbon. Conversely, when peat bodies are drained and dry out, they release the carbon that they have previously absorbed. At Foulshaw and Meathop the CWT management has involved blocking the drains to raise the water table and slow the rate of water loss, preserving the existing peat and allowing to sphagnum to grow again.
This feels a particularly appropriate cause for us to support, given that this work is genuinely offsetting the impact of our cars and hobby, in a way that is much more effective and immediate than planting young trees. It’s also supporting a local wildlife site and rare habitat which is home to other species including Osprey.
The Classics over Sands Team