Flanders Moss NNR
All our regulars will be familiar with the sight of Caroline the curlew at Flanders Moss NNR. And for those of you who are new to the blog or Flanders Moss, Caroline is a beautiful willow sculpture that was created by local artist Kate Sankey and a group of local young people from Wallace High School in 2019 as part of the Forth Valley Art Beat project (see more here).
Caroline is wonderful for many reasons. She really fits into the landscape and she is very much part of the visual identity of Flanders, she truly is a work of art, she is a great talking point with visitors and I particularly love our younger guests spotting her from up the tower and asking what our giant bird is and sometimes the excited question “Is she real?”. But most importantly she keeps us thinking about curlew even when breeding season is over and their calls are gone from Flanders, keeping their threatened status in our minds. The RSPB write about the plight of the curlew and about their work to support them here.
Every year we bring Caroline indoors as the months get colder and wetter. We don’t want her blowing away in a storm. It was a fun experience to help Steve and Ellie take her from the Moss and she was based in a particular wet and soggy spot. We waded in to get her and Steve and Ellie dismantled her supports whilst I took a few photos (the easy job although a wet one!). Ellie then wanted to do the honours of carrying her off the Moss to our ready and waiting trailer. We strapped her in tight into the trailer to take her back to our workshop where she’ll see out the winter months. We saw quite a few heads turning as Caroline travelled along the local roads.
Caroline will get some much needed TLC from Kate Sankey over winter and next time we see her she’ll be looking a bit perkier. Don’t fear Caroline fans, spring will come soon enough and until then get tucked in for the colder darker months and don’t forget, Flanders is still here awaiting your visits whatever the weather.
Sleep tight Caroline and we’ll see you soon!