Educational trail “Galitsky mokh”

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Case study

Peat bog at Galitsky Mokh in the Tver Province exemplifies an area with ecological peatland restoration after years of neglect and degradation. Since 1930s the peat was extracted from the bog with various forms of extraction techniques, including the most ecologically destructive milling of peat. In the 1990s the extraction ceased and the area was abandoned and left without control. The area became place for unauthorized waste disposal and contraction of small private recreation facilities. Since 2002 regular peat fires occurred.

In 2011, a rewetting project was implemented in the area. About 600 hectares were ecologically restored by construction of a system of dams which help to capture the atmospheric precipitation and to distribute water within the peatbog.

Since the restoration, peatbog vegetation reoccurred, providing improved conditions for wildlife. For example, great reed warbler (Acrocephalus arundinaceus), considered rare in the Tver region, was observed nesting in the restored area.

The restoration of the bog is complemented by a 5 km long themed educational trail. There are 7 stopping points on the trail where key information about the bog, its history and its restoration is provided on informational panels.

The trail starting at Radchenko (a nearby village) crosses the area in a circular way. The starting part of the trail is easily accessible to points 3.1 and 7.1. To reach more distant parts of the trail (point 3.2 and 7.2), good footwear and physical fitness are required. The trail is suitable for school excursions as well as for all interested in local nature and understanding how humans can restore degraded and fire-stricken lands into rich wildlife habitat and mitigate the climate change by reducing CO2 emissions from dried peat.

The trail and accompanying educational materials were prepared by Instorf (Eastern European Institute of Peatland Studies hosted at the Tver State Technical University) and supported by the Project ‘Restoring Peatlands in Russia – for fire prevention and climate change mitigation’. You are kindly invited to visit the area and see with your own eyes how ecological restoration works.