Flanders Moss Dragonfly Hotspot
Flanders Moss is a raised bog located on the Carse of Stirling and close to the village of Thornhill. There is a number of different watery habitats found on the Moss which are suitable for dragonflies, from small lochs of open water to soupy sphagnum pools. With an all-abilities circular boardwalk running across the Moss, it is easy to get close to the dragonflies found here. The site is managed as National Nature Reserve by Scottish Natural Heritage.
Key Species: Common Hawker
The Site: Flanders Moss is one of the largest and least damaged lowland raised bogs in Britain and is home to a complex of bog vegetation and sphagnum mosses. Over millennia, the bog mosses have built up to form a dome-shaped mound that rises above the surrounding landscape. The circular path offers close views of the bog inhabitants, while keeping visitors safe and dry underfoot. A seven-metre high viewing tower at the start of the path provides a panoramic view of the bog and the surrounding countryside.
Getting there: Flanders Moss car park is just off the B822 Kippen to Thornhill road. Access to the car park is along a single track road of 1km with passing places and an aggregate surface. The car park grid reference is NS647978, with the nearest postcode FK8 3QQ. The nearest bus stops are in Port of Menteith and Thornhill (2.6 miles) on the C11 Aberfoyle - Thornhill route; more details from First Scotland East on 01324 602200.
When to visit: The earliest emerging species should be found from mid to late April, with the Common Hawkers being on the wing from late June onwards. Flanders Moss is one of the most southerly locations of the Northern Emerad, which is found only in Scotland in the UK. Other dragonfly species found here include Common Darter, Black Darter, Four-spotted Chaser, Golden-ringed Dragonfly, Large Red Damselfly, Common Blue Damselfly, Emerald Damselfly and Blue-tailed Damselfly.
Also good for: This is one of the best locations in the area to see Common lizards as they frequently sunbathe on the boardwalk. Adders can be spotted in sunny spots amongst the heather and beautiful lime-green Emperor moth caterpillars can be found grazing on the heather.
More information can be found on the SNH website: http://www.nnr-scotland.org.uk/flanders-moss/