One day festival, bringing everyone together

Blawhorn Moss, NNR

Many small towns and villages have a one-day festival that bring everyone together.  It is a popular tradition that allows local communities to come together, dress up, celebrate their own village with pride and host their own parade – a gala day.

Blackridge 3

For the last couple of years we have hosted a stand at Blackridge, West Lothian as part of the gala day. Blawhorn Moss is the only National Nature Reserve within the Lothians and it’s a very important place to the community.

Blackridge gala

Residents of Blackridge visit the reserve as their daily walk with their four legged best friends,  but many of the locals have only visited the reserve due to the work we have done with the local primary school.  Children have been able to pass on their enthusiasm about the wonders of the moss to their parents.  Sadly, there’s still a small minority of the residents who are unaware that they have something so special and unique right on their doorstep, which makes our presence at the gala day important.

image1Many residents are eager and interested in improvements in their local path network. Currently there are many missing links connecting the paths together which surround Blawhorn Moss, so the residents are keen to have a circular route and are looking for more opportunities to connect with nature.   Better paths would enable visitors to see more of what the reserve has to offer as well as including the surrounding woodlands and windfarm. Hosting our stand at the gala day helped us connect with local people to learn just how important this improvement would be to the community, so it was music to their ears when we got to inform them of our current feasibility study, the ‘Bike, Bog and Wood’ project which would help deliver the path improvements that people are so keen to see.




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