Geocaching at Flanders Moss – what people have to say

Flanders Moss NNR

Peggy McCann, a regular contributor to the blog, writes about geocaching at Flanders and what people who have visited Flanders because of this have to say about it:

Over the past two years my friend, David Sibbald, and I have placed two geocaches on and overlooking Flanders Moss. Geocaching is a worldwide sport in which a registered geocacher follows given coordinates to find a hidden container, signs a log within the container and later logs it online. The first geocache ever hidden was located in a forest near Portland, Oregon where Dave Ulmer and some friends decided to test their GPS devices after the removal of Selective Availability from the Global Positioning System on May 2, 2000. The sport took off from there. Scotland currently has hundreds of caches, some are traditional large ammo canisters hidden on mountain tops and others are tiny magnetic nano caches hidden within cities. Geocaching is a terrific individual or family game that takes you to some amazing places you might not otherwise visit!

A bolt cache

The first cache we placed, “Flanders moss Earthcache,” https://www.geocaching.com/geocache/GC33113 was located near a viewpoint in Thornhill. This is an Earthcache which has no physical container; instead a cacher goes to the coordinates and answers questions about the site after looking around and doing some research afterwhich they log their “find” online at https://www.geocaching.com/play/search .

The second geocache we placed is titled “Flanders Moss” https://www.geocaching.com/geocache/GC7B62A and is within the reserve near the boardwalk, I won’t say where, you’ll have to become a geocacher to read the hint! The day we placed this cache David Pickett joined us enhancing our visit, advising to what would be a safe yet relatively hidden hiding place.

Both of the Flanders Moss cache texts tell the story of the moss, the Earthcache from a geological standpoint and the cache in the reserve from a general standpoint.

Here are some logs entered on the geocaching.com website after cachers’ visits:

Flanders moss Earthcache – what people had to say:

  • We visited both the Earthcache site and the Flanders Moss NNR itself which were both very interesting and scenic.  Never realised just how unique Flanders Moss is, nor how beautiful it is with the abundance of colourful plants at this time of year.  
  • We’ve passed by here many times before caching & during caching without realising the significance of this area of the size of it, thanks very much for showing us this fine place which I’m now certain to return to.
  • Flanders Moss is strangely fascinating … I did not understand what I was seeing and ended up going to the park the next day. Fascinating, and beautiful. Definitely must be preserved.
  • Lovely area and so much to learn about the formation and the recent management of the Bog. 
  • Love this place and have been a few times. Came with the young one who liked going up the tower.
  • Oh, what an amazing place. I’m glad that we “got lost” and ended up at the actual Moss itself. The view from the tower was great and the boardwalk really interesting.
  • This Earthcache really made us think and we learned loads.  We couldn’t wait to get home to read more about it and “research” some of the answers.
  • This is one of my favourite Earthcaches!
  • On a short trip from Wales. This is the third peat based Earthcache I have found, and all have approached the matter of peat politics from different perspectives and in today’s agenda of climate change being an emergency. All three have been amongst the most thought provoking that I have done. 
  • How hard was this! Our brains are feeling numb – so much is opinion and not fact and we ain’t good at guesstimates! Anyway, it got our brains thinking and that can only be good, and we know so much more than we did before about raised peat bogs.
  • Congratulations must go to the Scottish Natural Heritage for all its past and ongoing preservation work at this important flora and fauna habitat.
  • Thanks to the lessons learned from Flanders Moss I’ve been paying special attention from where the bagged peat moss sold in our local nurseries in Central California comes – and so far, it’s Canada, Canada, and Canada. 
  • Great viewpoint – spotted Pink-footed geese heading to the Moss. Can’t believe twa teachers in the group and they couldnae workoot the answer if thir brains wir gunpooder widna be enough. 
  • Greetings from Germany. What a terrific place and land. Because of this Earthcache we also went to the Flanders Moss “park”. It was great!
  • Thanks for showing us this wonderful piece of earth and history.

Flanders Moss – what people had to say:

  • Flanders Moss is an excellent place to enjoy big skies and just absorb being amongst nature. A pair of Roe deer, stonechats and a cuckoo in the distance were the highlight of today. Windy and chilly so the usual reptiles, butterflies, dragonflies, etc. were all hiding. The bog cotton looks great even if the bog was very dry this spring. 
  • This was an unexpectedly fascinating place. We came here before doing the Earth cache and we were so glad we did. It’s a really peaceful place with lots of great information on the information boards, and the observation tower was really good. 
  • It’s been a few years since I was last here (not sure why, it’s a lovely spot and close to home) and the first thing I noticed was the improved road on the way in – much kinder on the car suspension now! I had the whole place to myself this evening and it was just idyllic. I walked up to the top of the tower first and then round the boardwalk, stopping for this cache on the way. The nature reserve is impressive in itself of course but I don’t think I’ve been here before when the views all around have been quite so clear and spectacular. I would recommend a walk here to anyone who needs a half hour or so of calm in their busy lives – particularly early evening when there’s unlikely to be anyone else here. 
  • Saw a stonechat, a kestrel & both skylarks and meadow pipits were singing away. 
  • Despite living in Stirling for over 20 years now, this was the first time that I’ve been out here. A fascinating place which I enjoyed seeing on a walk around on the boardwalk. 
  • An opportunity to revisit somewhere I’ve not been for a while. The water levels have risen after the recent un-drainage work here and the bog is looking really green, with a healthy sprinkling of purple heather.
  • It was absolutely fascinating! We had heard of Flanders Moss, though we had no idea how extensive it was, nor about the great efforts to restore it to something approaching its former glory.
  • I wanted to visit this place because we are from Flanders and this place is called Flanders Moss. I couldn’t find out why it’s called that though. That would be very interesting to know. We enjoyed our walk here. Just some very annoying insects that stung me. 
  • On a trip from New Zealand … really interesting cache.
  • It was fairly late in the day and so I had the place to myself. I followed the boardwalk around the area and learned a great deal from the information boards and views the reserve from the observation tower.
  • From the   Netherlands: The first time I visited a peat bog was a long time ago on a school trip to the “Hohe Venn” in Belgium and indeed I can still remember this special “school hiking day” very well. The same applies to my last visit last year, when we had a nice walk through the “dumme mosse” near Jönköping in Sweden (where we visited an Earthcache, too). So, a view at the listing of this cache made us really curious about Flanders Moss and what we should expect here.
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