Flanders Moss National Nature Reserve
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.
Opening times, entry costs, facilities and directions
Things to see
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.
A stroll along the boardwalk at Flanders Moss takes you into a remote and water-logged land. All year, the mosses create a carpet of reds, oranges and greens. In spring and summer, seas of bog cotton wave in the breeze and the Moss is noisy with the calls of nesting birds. Frogs and toads jump in and out of pools and lizards bask on the boardwalk. In August, heather adds its purple to the vivid moss greens, while the calls of geese and swans break the stillness of dusk in winter.
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.
This species was reintroduced to the site
Flight period is April to September.
Easy to identify by their white face.
Image by David Clarke
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 Emerald, which is found only in Scotland in the UK.
Image by Frank Vassen
Contact UsScottish Natural History
Castle Business Park
T: 01786 450 362
Species Flight Periods
These are general species flight periods for the UK. Please be aware that dragonflies tend to emerge later in the north where the climate is cooler.