Flanders Moss, National Nature Reserve
National Nature Reserves are places where everyone can enjoy Scotland’s nature; special places that people can visit to enjoy the wildlife and take in some of the best landscapes and habitats. For each NNR comes a different Habitat Management Plan: not only does this help protect a special place for everyone to enjoy, it can create a location for colleges and university to visit for educational purposes. Last week we did just that!
John McGregor, Environment Lecturer at Oatridge Scottish Rural College arranged for his HND Countryside Management & Environmental students to visit Flanders Moss. The subject was Habitat Management and the students will have to write a report to discuss and evaluate work that was carried out on a special place. With many years experience managing a peat bog, Dave the reserve manager was the best person to lead this visit as he has many examples the students could use.
If you have read our previous blog posts and follow the Facebook page you will be more than aware of the work that has been carried out on Flanders Moss recently, with raising the water table, blocking ditches and stump flipping. I won’t repeat myself, that way I can get to the most exciting news of that day!!
We will praise John and the SRUC students for this, if it wasn’t for their planned visit I doubt Dave or myself would of been standing on top of the tower taking in the scenery…… more than likely we would have been watching our feet! We all got to share and witness an incredible sight fly over Flanders Moss – the sheer size of this raptor was magnificent compared to its fellow followers. Can you guess without scrolling to the bottom what this is?
With the amount of rainfall we received last week it was of no surprise the bog was going to be wet, it was nice to see fellow students helping each other out when crossing deep ditches…. although some could not help but laugh and I suppose take a picture.
Even though it was overcast with some showers, it was one of the best days out on the moss. We did not have to stray very far from the boardwalk or the car park to witness a Red Kite, Ringtail Hen Harrier, Sparrow Hawk, Two adders and a White Tailed Sea Eagle!!
I think we need to arrange more site visits for SRUC to visit our reserves, obviously for the educational value not at all for the luck they brought!