I guess that rain is pretty much uppermost in everyone’s mind at the moment. Certainly here we are generating full power with our micro-hydro electric scheme and have done for the past month ( so not all bad.) However I was sent the cutting written by George Monbiot about the floods in Somerset and it set me thinking how hard it is to understand all the repercussions of our actions.
The mountains of Wales are quite different to the Somerset levels but nonetheless they do share important and relevant properties. Where ground is permanently wet and waterlogged and there is an absence of oxygen decay of plant material is slowed to the extent that peat may form. If conditions allow plants, that contribute to the development of peat, mostly mosses to go on growing peat can accumulate.
On Pen Trumau it is the loss of a stable covering of vegetation and a change in hydrology that is preventing the scar from full recovery. All we can hope for is to halt the continual loss of this valuable water and carbon store.
In Somerset the issues about peat are different but worth thinking about
Woollenline has always been about action and people but I wonder how many of us keep in mind just how important these water storing systems are and how they work. The January 11th New Scientist article about the geological origin of peat may help