Bog in a Bottle – Blanket Bog Formation

You Will Need

  • used 1 or 2 litre colourless mineral bottle with the spout removed
  • coloured plastic bag
  • 1 mug full of bark chips
  • 5 to 6 mugs full of dry black peat from the bottom of a blanket bog (crumbled into small pieces)
  • 1 handful of fresh dried Sphagnum Moss
· 1 mug full of sand or gravel
· labels

What To Do

Blanket Bog Formation in a BottleThe relative proportions of the different layers in the blanket 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 sand/gravel (representing the mineral soil), 5% black peat (representing the blanket bog), 10% bark chips (representing the woodland stage), 70% black peat (the blanket bog stage) and 5% fresh dry Sphagnum moss (representing the living layer of surface vegetation).

1. Partially fill the bottle with half of the sand. Then add the plastic back to represent the iron pan. Then add the remainder of the sand followed by black peat and pine wood in the proportions shown in the diagram.

2. Fill the black peat into the bottle and cover with the fresh dry Sphagnum moss.

3. When the various layers have been completed, seal the top of the bottle by taping the cut top back into position.

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

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