New boardwalk and paths for West Lothian nature reserve

14 July 2020

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, NatureScot announced today.

The Blawhorn Moss National Nature Reserve will be expanded by 20 hectares – 20% of the reserve’s original 108 hectares – after NatureScot 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. NatureScot are also currently looking at options for a further boardwalk across the bog.

David Pickett, NatureScot’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.”

Find more information on Blawhorn Moss National Nature Reserve.