Bogs and Fens

A peat-bog is a poorly drained area covered by mats of moss. The moss slowly decomposes in successive layers to eventually form a material called peat. The two types of peatbogs that are seen in the area behind Stephenville Crossing are bogs and fens.

These peatbogs are home to Orchids, Pitcher Plants, sedges, grasses, bog rosemary, bog laurel, sphagnum, pond lilies, and many wildflowers. Another tasty treat for residents and visitors are bakeapples, and blueberries which are found there in great numbers.

Bogs and fens are also home to animals and insects. In our area you may see partridge, geese, foxes, rabbits, wild ducks, bog butterflys, woodlice, ants, and and even occasional bear or moose. Osprey are also seen nesting in areas close to water.

Newfoundland has more in common with Ireland than the many immigrants that came to Newfoundland. Here is an excellent site about bogs in Ireland, which are quite similar to those found in Newfoundland. In bogs, the process of decomposition and peat formation is further advanced than in fens, making the soil and water more acidic. The groundwater level in bogs is close to the surface. The vegetation, mainly peat moss, shows the effect of a general lack of nutrients.

In fens, sedges are the predominant vegetation, although other mosses that require less acidic conditions may grow there.

Environment Canada’s site will give you a more detailed description of the different types of Wetlands There has been minimal use of the bog areas in Stephenville Crossing for residental development and peat harvesting has not taken place, which means our bogs and fens remain intact.

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