Landscapes Forum > Peat Sampling on Moss Grieve

Tuesday 18/06/2013

As a follow up to the preliminary look carried out on 19th April a more in depth survey was carried out by Dr James (Ed) Schofield and two colleagues, Tim and Laura, to discover the true depth and makeup of the peat on Moss Grieve or Averon Knap (Averon or Cloud Berry which is very much in evidence this year). Also present were five members of the Bailies and artists from SSW (Scottish Sculptural Workshop) who is funding this part of the Bennachie Landscapes Project. Oh! And one “Russian” that’s the piece of equipment, the auger, that did the hard bit, collecting the cores! Pollen sampling will be done plus radiocarbon dating etc, (we are talking science here so I’m done!). The process was far more involved than I anticipated as the work had to be carried out with meticulous care so as not to contaminate the samples as they were collected.

The peat depth is an incredible 4.9 mts, you could bury a double-decker bus, and the samples we were told were good. So, sometime in the next few months (these things take time) we can hope for some very exciting results, 4.9 mts could represent over 4,000 years of Bennachie’s history, so I guess we can be a little patient for a few more months.

It turned out to be a full day. Thankfully Bennachie was good to us again and we all had a very enjoyable and rewarding time.

June 19, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBarry Foster

Barry, that sounds great!

What wonderful work yet again from the team that is involved in this.

June 20, 2013 | Registered CommenterLeaf

On behalf of Tim, Laura, and myself, I would like to express my thanks to everybody who was involved with collecting the peat core from the summit of Bennachie on Tuesday. Your assistance was invaluable and the core samples could not have been retrieved without your help.

As Barry has noted, the laboratory analysis of the core will be underway soon. We intend to obtain some radiocarbon dates that will tell us how old the material is (I suspect it could span several millenia given the depth - almost 5 m - that we recovered, which was more than I had at first anticipated). We will also be studying the pollen content of the peat. This contains an 'archive' of the vegetation history for the site and should allow us to say something about the character of the vegetation communities on and around the summit in the past, and how these have changed over time. I will keep you informed of our progress on this front.

June 20, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterEd Schofield