© Duncan Hutt
Border Mires is the name given to a collection of peat bog sites in and adjacent to Kielder Forest, of which there are 58 separate sites. Access to many of these is difficult due to their remote location and often requires a long walk over difficult terrain.
The majority are owned by Forest Enterprise and managed by a group of partners, including Northumberland Wildlife Trust. The Border Mires are largely made up of deep lenses of peat in larger areas of blanket bog - peat stores carbon and reduces the effect of global warming, and can be up to 15m deep in places. Plants such as sundew, cranberry, cotton grasses and sphagnum moss are prevalent. Many pools are home to a variety of insects such as the black darter, common hawker and golden-ringed dragonflies. Frogs are frequent while toads and palmate newts are a little less common.The large heath butterfly is a specialist of these bog sites - June and July are good months to see them. The sites in and around Kielder Forest store more water than the reservoir and release it steadily, moderating flows and reducing flash floods.