News and events

Volunteer Day: 27th July Bog Vegetation monitoring at Dalmellington Moss

As part of our Peatland Monitoring Programme we will be surveying the key indicator plants on the beautiful Dalmellington Moss SSSI, which is managed by the Scottish Wildlife Trust (SWT) as a Wildlife Reserve. Working with SWT and volunteers we will be surveying the fixed quadrats on the reserve and recording the plant species found in each quadrat. This is year four of our long term monitoring programme to determine whether the proposed re-wetting will have the desired effect over time of improving […]

Volunteer Day: 3rd July Large heath butterfly monitoring

Over the past few years, with the help of CEI volunteers, we have been very excited to record Large Heath butterflies on RSPB Airds Moss and our other bog enhancement sites. Large Heath is a priority species for the UK Biodiversity Action Plan and also a bog specialist. We will continue to monitor this population which will not only help to contribute to a nationwide survey to determine the population and abundance of butterflies in the UK but also as an indicator of the condition of bog habitat […]

Volunteer Day: 19th June Beetle Monitoring at Shiel Farm

As part of our peat bog monitoring work we have been surveying plants and animals that are ‘indicators’ of bog habitat. These are species that like to grow or live in bog habitat and few if any other places; their presence indicates the quality of the habitat. This summer we are surveying beetles (and spiders and other beasties) using a sampling method called ‘pitfall trapping’. This involves placing a plastic container within the ground to allow […]

Volunteer Day: 14th June Dipwells and Drones at Airds Moss!

How have our peat bogs been faring during this changeable weather? First a drought and now some fairly heavy rainfall. We hope that through our ditch blocking and bunding work that the bog will have a higher, more stable water table and therefore greater resilience against changes in climate. A water level close to the ground’s surface supports the growth of peat-forming plants such as Sphagnum mosses, trapping and locking away atmospheric carbon as it builds up […]

That’s a lot of water, for peat’s sake!

The East Ayrshire Coalfield Environment Initiative (CEI) have carried out ditch blocking at two raised peat bogs in East Ayrshire, creating wetland habitat and supporting peat formation.  Raised bogs are rare and threatened wetland habitats containing peat soils. In the UK, we have lost around 94% of our raised bog habitat through agricultural drainage, peat extraction for horticulture and afforestation.  Low Moss and Dalmellington Moss are two of the best examples of this habitat remaining […]

5th April – Wildlife Tracking and Field Craft Workshop with Tom Wilson

Come along and learn how to track and watch wildlife using a variety of techniques and importantly make records of some of the things we find! Tom will give a talk on field craft and camera trapping including some of his fascinating natural history items before heading outside to practice these skills in the beautiful Auchinleck estate. Photo by Tom Wilson To book or for more information please get in touch with Jennifer Dunn, CEI Project Officer, at or call 01563 576771.