Bingley North Bog is a West Yorkshire wetland located in between the A650 and the impressive Five Rise Locks landmark. According to The Canal and Rivers Trust, the bog was formed around 10,000 years ago as a result of a glacier that covered much of Airedale forming a moraine; a moraine is a collection of sediment that has been deposited downhill by a glacier. Vegetation (plants) in the waterlogged area began to both partially decay and partially preserve, creating the peatland we see at North Bog today. Peat looks a lot like soil but can only be found in the wet, acidic conditions of bogs!
Bingley North Bog is a particularly important site for many reasons, one of which being its role against climate change. Peatlands are incredible at taking carbon from the air and storing it. Peatlands cover around 3% of the world’s land, yet they store double the amount of carbon as all of the world’s forests by trapping the carbon that living plants had captured from the air. It is because of this that Tim Christopherson from the UN Environment Programme considers them the most essential environment on Earth, in terms of fighting climate change. If North Bog were to degrade and become an unhealthy bog, it could release its stored carbon, and in turn, accelerate global warming.
Bogs in good condition like North Bog, are wet and covered in vegetation. The mix of plants commonly found in bogs creates a ‘rough’ surface which slows the flow of water to towns and villages downhill when it rains. As it is a wetland, Bingley North Bog also helps prevent flooding of communities. Instead of flooding the town and villages, overflow can happen at the bog because there is plenty of space and vegetation that can use the water! This means that North Bog is an essential part of flood prevention in the area. Follow the link to watch a video produced by Yorkshire Dales Rivers Trust with further information on this: Natural Flood Management - Yorkshire Dales Rivers Trust (ydrt.org.uk)
Bingley North Bog is home to a diverse group of wildlife including dragonflies, damselflies, frogs, toads, insects, bugs and bats to name a few. The Canal and Rivers Trust have identified mallards, herons, white geese, coots, moorhens and kingfishers as birds you might spot around the bog. On top of this, Shaun Radcliffe of Bradford Ornithological Group has spotted blackcaps, chiff-chaffs and reed buntings in the area as well.
Species Profile: Kingfisher
Look out for the wildlife, it’s not every day you get to see the wildlife that can be found at North Bog! Try the Bingley five rise locks and canal family walk and keep an eye out for all the wildlife mentioned above. The loop will take you from town past the 5 locks, 3 locks, North Bog, along the canal and back to town again so there is plenty of opportunities to spot some wildlife. There is also a geocaching search set up by the Canal and Rivers Trust that explains aspects of North Bog that create a great habitat for all of the wildlife there. This is a great idea for a family day out!
Every week we organise volunteer days where we run a variety of events such as hedge laying, tree planting and litter picking. Anyone and everyone is encouraged to join in and help us protect the river Aire and surrounding areas. If you want to volunteer with us, register your interest here: