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Flanders Moss NNR

Location:Flanders Moss National Nature Reserve, nr Stirling

Habitats:Wetland, Peat bog

Livestock:Shetland cattle, Hebridean Sheep

In brief:Conservation grazing with cattle and sheep on raised peat bog as part of ongoing site management

Contact:David Pickett

Tel:01786 450362

Email:David.Pickett@snh.gov.uk

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Flanders Moss, lying in the broad flat valley of the Upper Forth, is a small part of a once extensive series of raised peat bogs. Although much of it has been reclaimed, at 860 ha Flanders Moss still represents the largest remaining area of relatively undamaged lowland raised bog in Britain. It is thought to have been kept clear of trees up to about 200 years ago through use of fire and grazing with cattle and sheep by surrounding farmers and small-holders. 

Much of Flanders Moss is managed by Scottish Natural Heritage in partnership with local landowners.  Part of the Moss also forms a Scottish Wildlife Trust nature reserve.  To control birch and prevent hydrological change, small-scale grazing has been reintroduced in the last few years. A “flying flock” of Hebridean sheep and other breeds now seasonally graze part of the Scottish Wildlife Trust reserve while a herd (or 'fold') of Shetland cattle graze on the fringe of the Moss owned by West Moss-side Farm. Initial results are very positive, and Scottish Natural Heritage aim to widen these operations to other parts of the site.

West Moss-side Farm is a traditional mixed organic livestock farm including almost 20 hectares of Flanders Moss National Nature Reserve.  The farm is run by Kate Sankey and Shetland cattle from the farm's Boquhapple herd graze on the edge of the Moss for parts of the year. To find out more about the farm please click here