Portmoak Moss (Perth and Kinross)

Portmoak Moss is one of the new Dragonfly Hotspots established in Scotland in 2014. It is owned by Woodland Trust Scotland and recent habitat management has greatly improved conditions for Dragonflies.

The Site: Portmoak Moss is one of the few surviving raised bogs (areas of deep, wet peat) in central Scotland. Since 2002, a habitat restoration project has been underway to restore the core of the peat dome to a functional raised bog by removing tree cover and damming ditches across 12ha of the site. Sphagnum species are now showing a strong recovery. Dragonflies breed in the blocked drainage runnels and hunt across the heather moorland of the Moss.

Getting there: Portmoak Moss lies just south-east of the village of Scotlandwell. The site can be most easily reached on foot from the village centre of Scotlandwell. From the main road junction follow the B920 south for 150m to the edge of the village, then turn right down a track (signpost ‘Portmoak Moss’) for a further 180m to enter the wood through a multi-access gate. For car users, there is a lay-by on the track where parking is permitted by the landowner. Portmoak Moss can be reached by public transport by bus to Scotlandwell. From the bus stop in the village centre directions are as described above. The closest rail access is to Markinch, and then by the regular bus services to Scotlandwell via Glenrothes Bus Station. There is a surfaced path loop of 1870m which encircles the bog restoration area as well as passing through the woodland.

When to visit: The best time to see the greatest number of dragonflies is on a sunny day throughout July and August, but early-emerging damselflies can be spotted from late April onwards. The Common Hawkers can be seen mating and then ovipositing in the drainage runnels throughout August.

Also good for: Green woodpeckers can be heard yaffling in the woodland, where red squirrels can also be spotted. Roe deer can be seen feeding on the edges of the Moss and Small Pearl Bordered Fritillaries are on the wing in June and July. Other dragonfly species found here include Common Darter, Black Darter, Four-spotted Chaser, Large Red Damselfly, Common Blue Damselfly, Azure Damselfly, Emerald Damselfly and Blue-tailed Damselfly.

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Portmoak Moss
Scotlandwell
Perth & Kinross

Portmoak Moss (Perth and Kinross)