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Along the Moors - The Wall

The Shrinking Moors

Peatland On Rodway Moor
Peatland On Rodway Moor

Sadly, much of the traditional fenland habitat that made the construction of the hillfort necessary in the first place has now disappeared. With a water content that is typically above 90%, peatlands are highly susceptible to long-term ecological damage from activities that affect their delicate hydrology. On the Weald Moors, centuries of drainage for agriculture and more recent housing development on the fringes of the moorlands have had a catastrophic effect on local peat deposits, reducing large parts of the former mire to a thin layer of dark soil that will disappear within several decades.

Historically, peatlands were often regarded as waste but they are now widely recognised for their role in combating climate change (both as a carbon store for dead plant life on the surface and as a sponge for excess rainwater) making their continued existence an imperative. However, the ability of fen vegetation to bind and filter water has also made the Weald Moors a target for abstraction for local drinking supplies, drying out peat deposits even further; the effects of which can be seen in the undulated appearance of many minor roads through the area.