Stinky mushrooms introduce ice-age bogs

image:Marches Mosses BogLIFE
Nature lovers visiting Fenn’s, Whixall and Bettisfield Mosses have celebrated 25 years of LIFE-funded conservation work with a stroll through prehistoric peatlands. These peat bogs straddle today’s border between England and Wales, although they have existed for 10 000 years longer than either country. In a series of events marking LIFE’s silver jubilee this year, visitors from all over Europe were introduced to the site’s unique heritage by hosts as unlikely as creepy crawlies and reeking fungi.“There is no point in just telling people that peat bogs are amazing,” said John Hughes from the Shropshire Wildlife Trust. Few people immediately connect with the flat, rough and ancient landscapes. But small, personal experiences can help reveal their vast importance. To introduce visitors to the hidden charms of peat bogs, Fenn’s, Whixall and Bettisfield Mosses nature reserve relies heavily on the hospitality of its outlandish inhabitants. Over the course of each walk, Mr Hughes urges visitors to hear, feel, smell and even taste local plants and fungi.

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