Bog in a Bottle – Raised Bog Formation

You will need

  • used 1 or 2 litre colourless mineral bottle with the spout removed
  • White tissue or cotton wool
  • 2 mugs full of dry black peat from the bottom of a local bog (crumbled into small pieces)
  • 4 mugs full of dry moss peat
  • 1 mug full of bark chips
  • 1 handful of fresh dry Sphagnum Moss
  • labels

What to do

Raised Bog Model in a BottleThe relative proportions of the different layers in the raised bog model are shown in the diagram. These are based on a 1m long profile. The depth of each layer in your profile will depend on the length of the bottle used and should be calculated beforehand in maths class. As a general guide line 10% should be cotton wool or white tissue paper (representing lake marl), 20% black peat (representing the fen stage), 10% bark chips (the woodland stage), 50% moss peat (the raised bog stage) and 10% fresh Sphagnum Moss (representing the living bog surface).

1. Partially fill the bottle with cotton wool or tissue paper, followed by fully dried black peat and pine wood in the proportions shown in the diagram.

2. Fill in the layer of moss peat and the fresh dry Sphagnum moss.

3. When the various layers have been completed, seal the top of the bottle with tape.

4. Label the layers in the model as shown in the diagram and store upright.

Text, Photographs and Images © Irish Peatland Conservation Council, Bog of Allen Nature Centre, Lullymore, Rathangan, Co. Kildare. Email:; Tel: +353-45-860133.