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Bogs to be the focus of Galloway Glens event

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By Euan Maxwell
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Bogs to be the focus of Galloway Glens event

NEXT WEEK the Galloway Glens Landscape Partnership is hosting five guest speakers at a free online event to talk all things bogs.

At ‘Plumbing the Depths of a Bog’ next Wednesday, the ecological experts will delve into the science and taxonomy of these slimy mires, how they benefit our environment and the words and phrases that we attribute to them.

Archaeologist Dr Michael Stratigos, currently working at the University of York’s Leverhulme Centre for Anthropocene Biodiversity as a post-doctoral research associate, will discuss the important role peatlands play in helping us look into the past.

Dr Stratigos said ahead of the event: “Peatlands and other wetland have been part of dynamic landscape, influencing and influenced by people, in Galloway since the last Ice Age. My brief talk will highlight how peatlands themselves preserve unique traces of that history and how mapping the changes to peatlands (especially those occurring in the last 300 or so years) can throw light on both the past and the future.”

Joining him will be artist Kate Foster, alumn of Glasgow School of Art, Edinburgh College of Art and Stirling University, who supports ecological restoration through her work.

She said: “Peat is a brilliant way to explore Galloway landscapes! I’ll show some ways my project, Peat Cultures, takes inspiration from different kinds of knowledge about peatlands, such as archaeology and land management.”

In addition, Dr Emily Taylor, general manager of local environmental charity Crichton Carbon Centre, who has a PhD in peatlands and carbon, will also take to the virtual stage.

Dr Taylor said she will take attendees on a “quick whistle stop tour of the technical aspects of peatland restoration and some of the techniques we are using to return peatlands back to their wetter natural state”.

She added that her talk will cover all bases: “from peat dams to stump flipping, and everything in between!”

Furthermore, photographer, videographer and coordinator of the Peatland Connections project Jayne Murdoch will discuss the three-year project and how it aims to explore our connection to this sometimes-forgotten landscape.

Jayne said: “We are looking for people to get involved in the discussion and rediscover this beautiful landscape through arts and culture.”

Thomas Owen Clancy, Professor of Celtic at the University of Glasgow, will look at how we have described and understood bogs in various languages throughout the ages.

He said: “In my talk I will look at some of the words people in the past have used to name peatlands, in the various different languages of the Galloway Glens (Brittonic, Old English, Gaelic, Scots). I will ask what we can learn from place-names about peatlands—from how they formed part of estates to locating lost bogs.”

Plumbing the Depths of a Bog will be streamed live next Wednesday, April 28 from 7.30 to 9 pm. To secure your free place next week visit www.gallowayglens.org and click ‘events’.

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