City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

Bog opens to the public on Sunday 27th

By Editor - Posted on 25 July 2008

Scottish Wildlife Trust


Bog opens to the public

As part of International Bog Day, Scottish Wildlife
Trust's Red Moss of Balerno Wildlife
in Edinburgh will open to the public
this coming weekend (Sunday 27 July 2008). A raised bog, this extremely rare
wildlife habitat is home to many species
that are found nowhere else.

Since the 19th Century, throughout Scotland and Europe, peat has been extracted in
astronomical amounts and today only 6% of what originally existed in the UK can be found with two-thirds of this in Scotland.
Commercial peat extraction and land drainage has contributed to habitat loss
and once gone, it takes centuries
for a peat bog to regenerate. As Julian Warman SWT's Reserves said, despite their
perception, bogs can be fascinating areas to discover wildlife: "Peatlands or bogs are very special and can tell
us so much about the climate and conditions thousands of years ago. They are a
valuable indicator of environmental change. They also support an interesting
range of plants such as sundews which catch and absorb insects to survive the
nutrient-poor conditions found on raised bogs."

With experts on hand, the aim of Red Moss' open
day is to reveal secrets behind this special place, with a whole host of
activities on offer during this free afternoon. From pond-dipping to a wildlife
quiz, visitors will be able to find out more about the plants and animals
living there. Situated just one mile south of Balerno, Red
Moss is home to a wide range of wildlife including six varieties of sphagnum
mosses, lichens, rare moths and birds like redpolls and willow warblers.
Dragonflies and damselflies inhabit the small pools on the Moss, which are also
the breeding grounds for common frogs, toads and newts. On the drier humps
common lizards may be seen, basking in the summer sun. Short-eared owl and roe
deer also visit the reserve.



Red Moss Wildlife Reserve is open to
the public on Sunday 27 July. Red Moss from 12 noon to 4.00 pm. It is free
admission but voluntary contributions are welcomed. It is advised that visitors
wear appropriate clothing and be prepared for the weather.

Red Moss is situated on the north
side of the Pentland Hills, 9 miles south-west of Edinburgh and about 1 mile south of Balerno.
Car parking is available in Threipmuir Car Park adjacent to Red Moss of Balerno
Wildlife Reserve (grid reference OS Landranger, Map 65. NT 164 637).

SWT is the largest voluntary body working for all the wildlife of Scotland,
representing more than 30,000 members who care for
wildlife and the environment. SWT seeks to raise public awareness of threatened habitats and species and manages
more than 120 reserves Scotland-wide.

SWT receives financial assistance
and support from Scottish Natural Heritage.


Julian Warman, Reserves
Manager, SWT (South East)

Tel: 0131 312 4775; email: