Duich Moss

(Eilean na Muice Duibhe)

An area of peatland in Central Islay in the Inner Hebrides, Duich Moss (Gael: Eilean na Muice Duibhe) is located 2½ miles (4 km) south southeast of Bowmore. Formally classified as a patterned mire (peatland with extensive pools of water), Duich Moss occurs at the southwestern limit of the distribution of this type of peatland habitat in the UK. It also shows an unusual transition from blanket bog to raised mire habitats, is home to rare plants, and represents one of the largest single roost sites in the UK for Greenland white-fronted geese (Anser albifrons flavirostris), which feed on surrounding farmland.

Peat had been extracted around the edge of the moss for use in the whisky-making process for some years through agreement with land-owners the Laggan Estates. However, plans by the Distillers Company Ltd. to extend peat extraction for use by their Port Ellen Maltings, which produces malted barley for Islay's whisky distilleries, brought about confrontation with environmentalists known as the 'Battle of Duich Moss'. After a stormy public meeting in 1985, the environmentalist Professor David Bellamy (1933 - 2019) and supporters of Friends of the Earth were forced off the island by local people. Later, a compromise was reached whereby the whisky company were offered an alternative source for their peat at nearby Castlehill Moss and Duich Moss was designated as a Special Protection Area for birds under the European Birds Directive in 1988. Designation as a wetland of international importance under the Ramsar Convention followed and further protection as a National Nature Reserve came in 1993. This reserve extends to 576 ha (1423 acres).

Use the tabs on the right of this page to see other parts of this entry arrow

If you have found this information useful please consider making
a donation to help maintain and improve this resource. More info...

By using our site you agree to accept cookies, which help us serve you better