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14 July, 2020

New boardwalk and paths for West Lothian nature reserve

New boardwalk and paths for West Lothian nature reserve: Blawhorn-D0568 jpg m19685 - Sculptures and raised walkway at Blawhorn Moss NNR, Forth and Borders Area.©Lorne Gill-SNH

A West Lothian nature reserve is being expanded, with plans to develop a new boardwalk and circular paths as well as to restore peatlands and help mitigate climate change, Scottish Natural Heritage (SNH) announced today.

The Blawhorn Moss National Nature Reserve will be expanded by 20 hectares – 20% of the reserve’s original 108 hectares – after SNH reached a new 10-year agreement with a local landowner.

Blawhorn Moss is tucked away in the hills behind Blackridge, an oasis of open windswept moors hidden in the lowlands. The wilderness is a rare survivor of the raised and blanket bogs that once covered much of central Scotland, with over 8,000 years of history locked into the peat layers of this raised bog. Visitors can search for carnivorous sundews, spot dragonflies and damselflies, heath spotted orchids and curlews, and enjoy the peace and tranquillity of this hidden jewel of a nature reserve.

The existing path is a 1.7 kilometre return path. The new path will be circular, involve a longer boardwalk, and take in woodland, a pond, peatlands and fen. SNH are also currently looking at options for a further boardwalk across the bog.

David Pickett, SNH’s reserve manager at Blawhorn reserve, said:

“Blawhorn Moss is a wonderful place to visit, somewhere close to Edinburgh but where you can escape the rush of every life and experience all kinds of unusual wildlife and beautiful scenery. We’re really excited to about enlarging the reserve and creating better and longer paths for people to enjoy.

“The expansion will also give locals more opportunity to get involved in volunteer work, and we really hope to see them come along to take part in this rewarding work. The peatland on the new land is in a fairly poor state, but we hope to bring back sphagnum and sundews and cranberry. Volunteers could also help survey the new land, as well as help create and maintain the paths.”

For more information on Blawhorn Moss National Nature Reserve, see https://bit.ly/3imVc5g

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For more information, contact the SNH press office on snhmedia@nature.scot or 0131 316 2655.

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Notes to editors

There are 43 national nature reserves in Scotland. The reserves are Scotland’s natural crown jewels, showcasing the best of Scottish nature. They are special places, and they provide unique opportunities to visit, enjoy and learn more about Scotland’s nature. For more information, see www.nnr-scotland.org.uk.

Scottish Natural Heritage is Scotland's nature agency. We work to improve our natural environment in Scotland and inspire everyone to care more about it. We work to ensure that all nature in Scotland - our key habitats and landscapes, all our green space and our native species - is maintained, enhanced and brings us benefits. It is the job of all of us to achieve a balance in the sensitive management of our natural world in order to maintain and enhance biodiversity. For more information, visit our website at www.nature.scot or follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/nature_scot

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Blawhorn-D0568 jpg m19685 - Sculptures and raised walkway at Blawhorn Moss NNR, Forth and Borders Area.©Lorne Gill-SNH

Blawhorn-D0568 jpg m19685 - Sculptures and raised walkway at Blawhorn Moss NNR, Forth and Borders Area.©Lorne Gill-SNH

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