Yorkshire's biggest bog saved for the nation

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The Independent Online
THE CUSTODIANS of one of the biggest, deepest bogs in Britain yesterday announced plans to conserve it.

The May Moss bog covers 170 acres of austere moorland north of Pickering in Yorkshire. It is the unlikely seat of an intense scientific investigation which researchers hope will reveal the extent of global warming.

Scientists from the College of Ripon and York St John have been picking over pollen, microbes and plant remains in the peat there for the past 20 years, tracking 9,000 years of Yorkshire weather and global climate changes.

But the bog is drying out, and the Forestry Commission now plans to cut down more than 100,000 pine and spruce trees over the next 12 years in an attempt to restore the bog to its original size.

"The bog is ... entirely fed by rainwater, which makes it a good indicator of rainfall and climate over the last millennia," said Dr Margaret Atherden from the college.