“Friends” Protect Rare Peatland

A RARE bogland habitat in Scotland will be protected and enjoyed by thousands of visitors for many years to come – thanks to a new boardwalk made almost entirely from recycled plastic bags and bottles.
Langlands Moss near East Kilbride in South Lanarkshire is a rare lowland raised bog habitat nestled in the heart of Scottish suburbia on the outskirts of Glasgow. A new 374m-long raised boardwalk has been installed made from Duraplas recycled plastic planks and posts supplied by Centriforce Products.
The Moss is a designated Local Nature Reserve, attracting between 10 and 12,000 visitors every year from schools and local community groups to University researchers interested in its rare flora and fauna. Since 2006 it has been watched over by The Friends of Langlands Moss who have worked hard to nurture and protect its special environment.
The moss is too sensitive and dangerous for people to walk on so a raised 1.3m wide platform is essential to allow access for both leisure and conservation of the rare ecosystem of mosses, lichens, reptiles, invertebrates and birds.
The Friends battled to raise £100,000 in grants from the Heritage Lottery Fund and local community funds to enable the boardwalk to be built and replace the existing wooden structure which was beginning to rot.
“The old boardwalk was deteriorating and was getting slippy and on the verge of being unsafe,” said Maureen Potter, a local East Kilbride resident and founding member of the Friends group. “We have been working hard for a number of years to improve the hydrology and pathways around the Moss, but this is the biggest project we have yet attempted.
“We soon realised that a recycled plastic boardwalk was the ideal option for the wet environment, as it will not rot. The boardwalk fits well into the landscape. Visitors are amazed when they find out it’s made from recycled plastic and it’s a real bonus that we can tell them it’s made from plastic waste that would otherwise have gone to landfill.”
Environmental Consultant and Construction Company ‘Environments for People’ installed the recycled plastic posts, bearers and decking. EfP’s Hugh Roberts told The Landscaper “We specified the Centriforce Duraplas profiles as they offered a sustainable, durable and rot-free solution that will be easy for the Friends to maintain and will last forever. Unlike some of the alternatives, the Centriforce’s wood-like surface creates a non-slip deck and looks authentic. The solution also provided good value for money and was straightforward to install in difficult conditions.
“Because of the sensitive nature of the moss, we could not take machinery onto the site. The terrain was also a big challenge. Duraplas profiles are an easy material to work with. It’s durable and forgiving and we could construct much of the main frame in the workshop, before installing the posts on site and laying the plastic decking on the top.”
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