Friends of Langlands Moss have started their ambitious project to replace the wooden boardwalk over the local nature reserve.
The old wooden boardwalk which has served the moss well for many years but which is now disintegrating, is being replaced with a recycled plastic alternative which has a shelf life of between 40 and 50 years.
The £100,000 project has been in motion for almost a year now as the group of volunteers chose the materials required and generated designs and specifications in conjunction with South Lanarkshire Council’s countryside and greenspace department.
Earlier this year the Friends began raising the funds beeded to replace the boardwalk and were delighted to secure a fantastic £30,000 from South Lanarkshire Council’s Renewable Energy Fund; £30,000 from Viridor Credits Environmental Company under the Landfill Communities’ Fund and £41,000 from Heritage Lottery Fund as part of the group’s Access and Environments for People award.
The winning contractor began work replacing the boardwalk at the start of November and have to date completed a large portion of the work. They estimate the work should be completed by the end of this month, weather permitting.
In the meantime the Friends of Langlands Moss apologise for any inconvenience as the works get underway and would like to thank visitors to the reserve for their patience and support while the project goes ahead.
The boardwalk will be closed for the duration of the replacement and the Friends warn walking across the reserve is dangerous as there are deep areas of concealed peat which pose a real risk of drowning or becoming trapped.
As part of the replacement project, the group is working in conjunction with the council’s ranger service to ensure that a UK biodiversity action priority plan is put in placer to ensure a rare species of lichen – the powdered Sunshine Lichen – which was found growing on the wooden boardwalk, will be conserved.
The planks of wood where the lichen are growing will be carefully removed by the rangers and fixed to a specially built platform elsewhere on the moss to ensure they remain alive and healthy at Langlands Moss.
The Friends recently attended a Biodiversity conference in Lanark where Erik Paterson, one of their volunteers, was awarded a certificate for being one of South Lanarkshire’s Volunteers of the year.
Eric and the rest of the group said they were flattered to have been given the recognition by the council for all the hard work they have put in to conserving Langlands Moss.