As is often the case working in NNRs, what was planned as a day in the office unexpectedly turned into a trip to Blawhorn Moss to look at the potholes on the access track. We’d like to get the potholes filled temporarily until we can do a major resurfacing of the access track leading to the car park later in the year.
We understand the track is in a very poor condition, however it’s a private road (not owned by NatureScot) and keeping it in good condition is not as easy as one would think. Our visitors are not the only users who use this access track, several other land owners have right of way. There needs to be improvements to drainage as when it rains the track acts like a stream, contributing towards fast erosion. (If you visit the reserve regularly you will already know that)!
The whole NNR team are extremely busy just now and we are working hard to complete various final tasks before the end of this financial year, along with also having to take our annual leave before the end of March. We have a lot to complete at Blawhorn Moss before the boardwalk extension can be officially opened. But once our jobs are done, we will be hosting a ceremony to officially open the route. We will keep you informed as we progress.
Moving away from the busy demands of reserve management, I went on a snowy walk mainly so I could get some piece and quiet and forget that I was in the middle of the busiest time of the year. Recently I have been planning how the team are going to repair some of the access track’s pot holes and put in gates in such a short period of time when many contractors are busy themselves.
When I looked up, I wasn’t actually alone (of course I had Oatie) but we also had a few visitors. A couple walking their dog along the mineral strip and a young lad who recently moved to the area who was doing a circular walk from the car park, to the moss, into the village for a hot drink and back to the car park.
If you are using the other path we created across the new conservation area my suggestion would be to w to wear a pair of wellies. Some of the sections were rather wet, something I will monitor if we need to place some bridges over these areas so that the path is accessible during winter months and erosion is limited.
My walk roughly took me 45 minutes, and in that time the sky changed from being bright blue to a looming darkness above, with another snow shower threatening. For me, Blawhorn Moss is the hidden gem within the central belt of the Lothians. It’s easy to forget that you are in the middle of the busiest part of Scotland, a place where the landscape is open and you can truly sense a place of wilderness.
Looks very different to my one and only visit to Blawhorn on a hot sunny day last September!