Natural water level will be restored in the degraded Rampas bog

This August restoration works of the natural water level will be started in the drained Rampa Bog - the construction of dams on the drainage ditches – in order to restore altogether 500 hectares of bog. Works will continue until October 31 and will be carried out by SIA "Meliorācija - A.G." and "ViaCon Latvia", supervised by SIA "Meliorācijas sistēmas". The renovation will be implemented in accordance with the construction project developed by SIA "Nāra".

Prior to work, JSC "Latvijas valsts meži" - the partner of the LIFE + project "Birds in Adazi" - has cleared 150 hectares of bog from the overgrowth with trees and shrubs.

The restoration of the Rampa Bog affected by drainage is one of the main tasks of the LIFE + project. The bog is one of the best Black Grouse nesting places in Latvia - up to 60 males lek here. Other bird species threatened in Europe - Wood Sandpiper, Common Crane, European Nightjar, Red-backed Shrike, Short-toed Eagle - are feeding or nesting in the bog. Also a specially protected vascular plant Moor King Pedicularis sceptrum-carolinum has been found here.

Black Grouse. Photo: Agris Krusts.

In the last century, many larger and smaller drainage ditches have been constructed in the Rampa Bog and the area is losing water. Bog becomes dry and overgrows, therefore Black Grouse are missing suitable lekking areas, but Wood Sadpiper and European Golden Plover – open nesting areas.  

Wooden dams sealed with Sphagnum moss, as well as with special slabs and water regulators are already located on several drainage ditches of Rampa Bog. These activities were carried out in the previous LIFE+ project “Adazi”, which took place from 2006 to 2009. Groundwater level fluctuations are followed by regular measurements in specially designed wells.

Bog restoration throughout the world has become more and more important over the last decades. The peat layer of the bog, along with the Sphagnum moss, acts as a sponge that absorbs the precipitation waters. Water flow from the bog is slow and gradual, thus preventing the flooding of the surrounding areas in spring and autumn. So far, several bog restoration projects have been carried out in Latvia, for example, the natural water level has been restored in the Teici Bog, the Great Ķemeri Bog, the Cena Bog and elsewhere.

Bogs and Degraded raised bogs still capable of natural regeneration are protected habitats in the European Union.