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Borderlands II – Journeys to the Ice Age

Borderlands II was a two day conference, including an amazing peat coring at Kirkconnel Flow, organised by Stove member and environmental artist Kate Foster, with delegates arriving from Northumbria and Cumbria, The Borders and D&G, as well as further afield.

The peat coring, led by Dr Lauren Parry, was a time travelling experience back to the Ice Age through the samples of peat and eventually down to boulder clay, six meters down in the depths of the bog.


The second day was spent in the Stove, including exhibition and talks given by a range of speakers including story teller Malcolm Green, Dave Pritchard on wetlands, and Nadiah Rosli’s focus on Peatlands of South East Asia.

Image: The corer used for the Peat Coring workshop, accompanied by artwork by Kate Foster
Musings News

For the Love of… Sphagnum

An extract from SUBMERGE artist Kate Foster’s most recent blog post. To read the post in full visit her blog here

Kate joined in our recent craftivism workshops, wearing Sphagnum on her sleeves (more on that here), inspiring a love of moss blog post.


‘Living with water is important around the Solway, and I’m learning that Sphagnum is a kind of aqueous super-hero. An individual Sphagnum moss is a strand of water-holding cells that can collectively create raised bogs many metres deep, over thousands of years.

Complete raised bogs are now rare. Dogden Moss in the Eastern Borders and Kirkconnel Flow west of Dumfries give hints of what the landscape in Southern Scotland was like before bogs were drained and dug. Beginning  a tour of mosses,  I have discovered the equivalent of mountain-top removal has been inflicted on them. My eye is getting tuned to tawny strips on the low horizon.’


‘This human-made drainage ditch has been dammed, a recent reversal of policy. Peatland Action is a restoration programme co-ordinated by Scottish Natural Heritage: the reasons to conserve peatbogs are beautifully laid out in the National Peatland Plan. Importantly, peatbogs sequester carbon and are sinks for atmospheric carbon. This process is starting in the blocked ditch at Kirkconnel, as Sphagnum strands start a slow and steady occupation.’

Kate has been working with Nadiah Rosli on her recent work Peatland Actions, which is part of our SUBMERGE exhibition. SUBMERGE runs daily from 10-5pm until Saturday evening, 12th December.

Kate and Nadiah will be speaking as part of our Question of Scale event on Thursday, 10th December from 6pm.

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