Blawhorn NNR new boardwalk extension

March 2022

New boardwalk extension to open at popular West Lothian nature reserve

An extended boardwalk has opened today at Blawhorn National Nature Reserve (NNR), giving visitors even more opportunities to explore this fascinating natural area.

Drumdruff Wind Farm (GreenPower & Thrive Renewables) provided 70% of the funding to extend the boardwalk at Blawhorn Moss another 170m, creating more paths and links for the local community and visitors to enjoy. Volunteers contributed a lot of hard work as well, including Scotland’s Rural College students from Oatridge laying over a thousand anti-slip strips.

The new boardwalk also provides more seating areas and the added space will allow for more educational visits from local schools.

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.

Amee Hood, NatureScot’s reserve manager at Blawhorn, said:

“We are very grateful for the contribution from Drumdruff. This is a wonderful example of working in partnership to give back to the local community.

“The extended boardwalk gives visitors so much more to enjoy and experience. They can now wander further into the bog from the safety of the boardwalk, or have a seat and enjoy the peace, the stunning views and the unique wildlife.”

Rob Forrest, GreenPower CEO, said:

“We are delighted to have supported the boardwalk and to work in partnership with NatureScot and the local community. We were especially keen to see opportunities created for local training and volunteering, and for local suppliers and trades people, and are pleased to see that happen.  This is nature and renewables working together positively and long may it continue as we tackle both the climate and nature emergencies.

“In the coming months and years GreenPower will continue working with NatureScot and the local community to help provide new paths and cycle routes around Blackridge including the possibility of linking up the Moss to Drumduff Wind Farm.”

The new extension adds to an existing 1.7 kilometre return path, taking in woodland, a pond, peatlands and fen.  NatureScot also have a second phase planned to extend the boardwalk a further 280m, scheduled to complete in the next year.