Log overgrown with Cotton grass at Kirkconnell Flow NNR, Dumfries and Galloway.©Tim Dawson/SNH. For information on reproduction rights contact the Scottish Natural Heritage Image Library on Tel. 01738 444177 or www.nature.scot

Kirkconnell Flow Nature Reserve

An impressive example of an ancient raised bog.

Kirkconnell Flow is an impressive example of an ancient raised bog, one of the most threatened habitats in the world.  The huge expanse of peat is spread out below you as you drive up Whinnyhill on the Dumfries to New Abbey road or walk the trails of Mabie Forest. The moss, as it is known locally, provides a very special place of escape from the pressures of everyday life.

From the car park there is a circular walk through the deciduous woodland. At its eastern edge the Scots pine fringe gives way to the open area of peat bog. If you venture along the old timber extraction route onto the main moss mind your step, the surface is uneven, the old logs are slippery when wet and the bog surface is full of hidden holes.

On the peat dome the bog plant communities are well developed, dominated by sphagnum mosses with carpets of cotton grass and other characteristic plants such as cranberry and bog rosemary. The peatland is still being restored to ensure the special plants and wildlife dependant on raised bog can thrive here.

This wonderful mix of shady wood, soft shrubby edges and open space provides a home for a diverse range of species from roe deer to adders to dragonflies. The site has some notable inhabitants including nightjar, cuckoo and the rare six-spotted pot beetle.

The reserve is a short distance from Dumfries. 

Scottish Natural Heritage owns and manages the reserve.

Best time to visit

Any time of year but summer time is best to see bog plants and woodland butterflies at their peak.

Facilities

Woodland walk, car park, notice board

Location

Kirkconnell Flow Nature Reserve

National Grid reference: NX961700

DG2 8HD is the nearest postcode. It will not take you direct to the reserve.

Getting there

To reach the reserve, take the A710 New Abbey road out of Dumfries. Passing the entrance to Mabie Forest which lies on a sharp left bend, take the next turning on the left. This is Kirkconnell Avenue. The reserve entrance is 300m on the left. There is parking for cars and bikes.

Contact

Scottish Natural Heritage
Greystone Park
55/57 Moffat Road
Dumfries
DG1 1NP

Telephone: 01738 458678