Flanders Moss NNR
Darren Rees lives just down the road from Flanders Moss and writes here about his connection to this special site:
My love for Flanders Moss has become something of a family affair. Thanks to the programmes initiated by SNH to encourage local schools to engage with Flanders Moss, both my children, along with other pupils from Thornhill Primary, would visit the reserve to explore and draw. They would learn of sphagnum and sundew as well as curlew and snipe, so the moss has become a special place for the whole family. In addition, when extended family visited us, we’d often walk around the boardwalk and now my kids would act as guides.
In recent weeks we’ve all been in lockdown, and as never before, people have appreciated the treasures on our doorstep. Being within easy reach via bicycle, Flanders Moss has been a continued source of inspiration. As winter has lessened its grip and the last of the pink-footed geese flown north, spring has arrived in glorious fashion with migrant redstarts, whinchats, tree pipits joining smart reed buntings and stonechats. A white dotted carpet of cotton grass now extends across valley broken here and there by the fresh green of emerging birches. Lots of subjects to paint and draw.
Links to my social media:
Facebook page: Darren Rees Artist
Darren Rees was born in Hampshire in 1961, and he studied Mathematics at Southampton University teaching the subject for a short time before pursuing painting full time. As an artist he is self-taught. His work has attracted many awards including the Natural World and RSPB Fine Art Awards. He has also been a winner in the Swarovski/Birdwatch and BBC Wildlife Artist of the Year competitions. His first solo book Bird Impressions was greeted by much critical acclaim and was a runner up in the Natural History Book of the Year. He is a knowledgeable naturalist and travels extensively leading tours to Europe, the Americas and the Arctic.