21 December, 2021
Celebrating success at South Scotland National Nature Reserves
NatureScot’s National Nature Reserves (NNRs) in the south of Scotland celebrated some great success stories in 2021, including extensive habitat restoration work at Cairnsmore of Fleet NNR.
This year has been an extremely busy one on the reserve but the hard work is already reaping rewards for nature.
Staff were delighted to see some exciting newcomers at the site in the summer - keeled skimmer dragonflies – and hear the call of frogs and toads from the reserve’s wet flushes.
It follows restoration work carried out on a further 80 hectares of hillside, including blocking old drainage ditches with peat dams to slow down the water flow across the slopes. Holding water on the site helps to promote the formation of sphagnum mosses, the building blocks of the blanket bog.
The reserve team also planted 2,000 broadleaf trees between the Clints of Dromore and the Big Water of Fleet, with more planting ongoing.
Meanwhile work to turn four pasture fields into wildflower meadows is underway, with the first small blooms visible this summer, while bracken control has been carried out to make room for other plants and their accompanying birds, bees and bugs.
Suzanne McIntyre, NatureScot Reserve Manager, said: “From peatland restoration to tree planting, a huge amount of work has gone into improving habitats at Cairnsmore this year.
“We’re really pleased to have seen some early results already, including the return of some species, but we know we have to be patient as the transformation will take a few years.
“It has been a busy and rewarding year and we are looking forward to the New Year when we can begin this cycle of work again.”
NatureScot Chief Executive Francesca Osowska said: “In the year that brought COP26 to Glasgow and focussed the world’s attention on the twin crises of nature loss and climate change, it’s really heartening to reflect on the great work taking place across our National Nature Reserves. As we head into 2022, it’s fantastic to see these efforts yielding such positive results for nature and for people.
“This year has been another challenging one for many. Throughout the ongoing pandemic our beautiful reserves have helped people to enjoy spending time out of doors and connect with nature, and we want to thank everyone who helped us to safeguard these special places for future generations by treading lightly on their visit.
“Despite the season there’s still much to see so we’d encourage people to get out and enjoy their local national nature reserves over the holiday season and beyond.”
- NatureScot Media
- 0131 316 2655
NatureScot is Scotland's nature agency. We work to enhance our natural environment in Scotland and inspire everyone to care more about it. Our priority is a nature-rich future for Scotland and an effective response to the climate emergency. For more information, visit our website at www.nature.scot or follow us on Twitter at https://twitter.com/nature_scot
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