Nature coming out to play

Flanders Moss NNR

With the slow releasing of lockdown the government is allowing people to visit local places by car up to 5 miles from home.

This means that at Flanders the car park is now open.

Since late March only a few local people have visited the Moss under their own steam, by walking, running or cycling. The wildlife has taken advantage of the peace and quiet and moved into the space that people formerly filled. A recent visit, my first for 8 weeks to check the safety of the reserve fixtures, showed signs that the deer have been using the boardwalk as a drier and quicker way to get round the bog…and why wouldn’t you?

….and a large bird using the footbridge.

With fewer people walking the boardwalk the plants are making use of the space….

There is a fabulous male redstart holding a territory in the fringe woodland.

In the car park it is good to see some of the wildflower meadow plants spreading into the car park itself, like this ox-eye daisy and common knapweed……

The dragonfly population seems to be booming, hopefully due to all of the wetland features formed as part of the bog rewetting work. Like this 4-spot chaser.

Through lockdown the viewing tower was closed but unfortunately someone was so desperate to go up it that they brought down tools to the reserve and levered the door so ripping out the hinges. I know Flanders is a fantastic place and people like to take in the dramatic view of the moss but this level of mindless vandalism during a national crisis is particularly disappointing. Luckily we know there are still so many people out there that value Flanders Moss so much more than this.

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