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Cors Caron - The Tregaron Bog

Tregaron Bog is one of the few remaining examples of a raised peat bog in Britain. Lying beside the river Teifi just above the small market town of Tregaron on the edge of the Cambrian Mountains, there is now an excellent walk through the heart of the Bog on a timber decked walkway.
 

The old railway track

Pond by the old track

Cors Caron walkway

From Tregaron, take the B4323 towards Pontrydfendigaid . At Maeslyn (see OS map) there is a parking area and an entrance to the old railway line - now a track extending the entire length of the bog adjacent to the road. Turning right, you can head towards the observation tower, which offers bird watching opportunities and fine views across the bog. Turning left, follow the track past the lake on your right until you reach the Oak archway at the entrance to the walkway. From here a circular boardwalk takes you around the bog, returning to the railway track further to the south.

The Bog Asphodel

Boardwalk through the bog

Lichen Cladonia portentosa

A raised bog such as Cors Caron was once the site of a shallow lake that became filled with vegetation. Its acidic nature was ideal for the various species of Sphagnum moss which not only increase the acidity of the water, but which are very absorbent and help to hold the water in the bog and prevent excessive evaporation. The acid also prevents decomposition, so layer upon layer of Sphagnum gradually builds up - in this case over some 12,000 years to produce a shallow dome characteristic of the raised bog. 
The acidic and nutrient deficient conditions are suitable for a unique flora with plants like the Purple Moor Grass dominating the landscape. In places can also be seen the Cotton Grass, the Bog Asphodel and the carnivorous Sundew. 

Sundew

Otter

The Red Kite

Old folklore holds that if cattle ate the Bog Asphodel, their bones would become brittle. This is because the Asphodel grows on land lacking in nutrients such as calcium that are required for strong bones. This is reflected in the plant's scientific name Narthecium ossifragum. 

The Sundew gets its nitrogen from insects that it traps on sticky hairs on its highly modified leaves.
Growing profusely in many areas of the bog is the lichen Cladonia. Lichens are unique as they are composed of a relationship between an alga embedded within the tissues of a fungus. The Cladonia lichen is closely related to the Reindeer 'Moss'- an important component of the diet of the reindeer in northern Europe.

2011 Rod Attrill