Divis and Black Mountain: bringing back Belfast's lost bog

Ray Flynn, Laura MacAnallen, Francis Mackin

Research output: Other contribution

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Abstract

Regular visitors to the National Trust’s property at Divis and Black Mountain (DBM) will know that going there without a raincoat runs a high risk of getting a good soaking. All in all, lots of rain, falling regularly, makes the area substantially wetter than nearby Belfast and Lisburn. In fact, the climate at DBM more closely resembles higher areas of the Antrim Hills that extend up to the north coast, and which naturally host an extensive covering of blanket bog on all but the steepest slopes.
On the face of it, DBM seems to be an ideal location for bog, yet a recent citizen science probing programme has shown this not to be the case. In fact, areas where peat is thick enough to allow it to be considered as bog, are actually few and far between. This contrasts with old maps and historical records which reveal that bog was once more widespread, but was largely cut away by the start of the 19th century.
The loss of bog has had some obvious effects, such as the absence of some typical bog plants and animals. Other effects are less obvious, most notably on how water gets to the streams draining the area and how this affects downstream areas. In this presentation Dr. Raymond Flynn from Queen’s University Belfast, will discuss the results of a hydrological (water) study on DBM, and how this affects the site and its surroundings. The information collected forms the basis for the measures that the National Trust are proposing to improve habitats on Divis and Black Mountain and which aim to benefit not only the National Trust property but also the surrounding area.
Original languageEnglish
TypePresentation to the public, rather than a conference, and took place at the National Trust property at Divis and Black Mountain, Co. Antrim.
Publication statusPublished - 21 Feb 2024

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