Witch’s Bog will undergo beautification work

LATVIA – Culture news

The Nature Conservancy Council will be carrying out restoration work on Raganu Bog to help restore the wetland. With more than 100 volunteer helpers, the bog in Kemeru National Park will take on the characteristic landscape of a raised bog this winter.

Witch's Bog will undergo beautification work

The mire is located between Kemeri and Antinciems, close to the important and widely visited Sulphur Pond. The restoration work involves removing the densest tree cover by felling and removing 134 hectares of fast-growing pine trees.

Over the past 50 years, due to changes in the moisture regime, parts of Raganu bog have become considerably drier and are gradually becoming overgrown with pine trees and a dense layer of cypress trees and other small shrubs. Fast-growing pine trees with well-developed root systems and dense crowns contribute to water evaporation, depriving the marsh of essential water and suitable growing conditions for marsh-specific plants, such as cranberries.

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«Swamp growth can be slowed by preventing pines and other trees from growing so densely that a forest begins to form», says Inga Gonyavko, the administration’s project manager for the restoration of habitats and species habitats.

«The oldest pines and so-called ‘bog pines’ will be preserved in the Witch’s Bog area, which, even at the age of 100-150 years are only the height of an adult, their trunks are curved, the tops are rounded or even flat, but the bark is very rough», explains the project manager.

In order to walk around the entire area designated for work and find evidence of this ancient bog landscape – old bog pines – the Raganu Purva administration organised various events for almost a year explaining bog formation and changes that can be observed in Latvian bogs today and allowing everyone to take part in the bog restoration work accompanied by experts to choose and mark the remaining trees.

Before work began, a trial felling operation was carried out in a small area to see if the marked trees left behind were too dense for the bog landscape.

During the works for public safety, signs will be erected near Antinciema Road to inform about the work in progress and to urge caution.

The Raganu Bog Landscape Restoration Project will continue until the end of 2023 and is part of the project funded by the Cohesion Fund, implemented by the administration «Management activities in protected areas and micro-reserves to improve the conservation of habitats and species» (No. More information about the project is available on the administration’s website.

Inga Gonyavko, Conservation authorities,
Biotope and Species Habitat Restoration Project Manager: inga.honavko@daba.gov.lv
Phone: +371 28607129
Website: www.daba.gov.lv

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