|IPA Factsheet - Bankhead Moss, Beith|
Site Description Bankhead moss is an active raised bog, which is significant in its state of preservation. Few raised bog sites in the U.K. and Europe have retained active peat-forming vegetation, due to drainage for agriculture, commercial afforestation, commercial peat cutting activities and nutrient pollution.
Botanical Significance Noted for habitat interest specifically it is one of the best examples of active raised bogs in North Ayrshire. Spoorting many species including several species of bog-mosses: Sphagnum papillosum and S. magellanicum, as well as higher plants heather, cross-leaved heath, cranberry, bog asphodel, bogbean and round-leaved sundew.
General Habitat Description Raised bog undisturbed. Some cattle grazing in sections of site.
Conservation Issues In the northwest section, some peat extraction has occurred, but the site is recovering and is now maintained by grazing to prevent scrub incursion. However if heavy, grazing can lead to changes in vegetation composition, problems with nutrient enrichment (from the dung) and the breaking up of the fragile bog surface (from poaching). Invasive species, in particular rosebay willowherb, which has become established in small stands on the bog, should also be physically removed. Invasive species can outcompete other plants, disrupting the composition of bog plant species. (SSSI citation)