Blawhorn Moss, NNR
Tucked away in the hills behind Blackridge you will find Blawhorn Moss, a hidden gem which is more than just one of the best examples of a lowland raised bog in central Scotland. This is the only National Nature Reserve in the Lothians and it provides opportunities for people to enjoy and find out about the richness of our natural heritage.
Whether you are walking the trail from the car park down to the boardwalk or walking from Blackridge up the Millennium path way, if you look closely at the vegetation you will see dozens of Common Spotted-Orchid (Dactylorhiza fuchsii). Even more interestingly, did you know the common spotted-orchid is the county flower of West Lothian/Linlithgowshire?
Whilst out on the moss I came across another species Heath Spotted – Orchid (Dactylorhiza maculata) which is different from the Common spotted due to the pointed leaves with round purple blotches.
Beside the Heath Spotted – Orchid I came across Bog asphodel (Narthecium ossifragum) which is starting to flower along with some Bog cranberry.
Whilst making my way across the moss and eventually met up with Steve, he had Lesser Stitchwort (Stellaria graminea) to show me along with a story. He presented me with two, and explained that the left hand flower had a fungal infection which has caused it not to blossom, and that this infection has been sexually transmitted by a fly pollinator.
As you can imagine looking after reserves with car parks, jokes and laughter were exchanged.