Dumfries & Galloway's National Nature Reserves
Cairnsmore National Nature Reserve
Silver Flowe National Nature Reserve
Kirkconnell Flow National Nature Reserve
a peacock butterfly
Scotland's National Nature Reserves (NNRs) help protect a diverse range of wildlife and landscapes. They are managed primarily for the conservation of habitats and species of national and international significance, but people are welcome too! Many have facilities to enable visitors to appreciate the wildlife living there.
Dumfries & Galloway boasts four NNRs.
Silver Flowe is a complex of seven peat bogs crammed into the floor of the glen with features that are normally separated by hundreds of miles. From the surrounding hills you can make out the small mossy domes as well as the silvery pools that give this reserve its name.
The saltmarsh (merse) of Caerlaverock is a safe haven for birds, whether they are here to breed, spend the winter, or just passing through on migration. In winter see beautiful white whooper swans and thousands of barnacle geese, while in summer ospreys nest on the merse. Visit at dusk in early summer to hear the eerie chorus of natterjack toads as they compete to attract a mate.
Cairnsmore of Fleet
Take a peaceful walk around one of the wildest places in south west Scotland, Cairnsmore of Fleet. You’ll see many different wild flowers and plants, such as the bright pink petals of ragged robin and brilliant yellow bird’s foot trefoil. Over in the boggy areas, you might spot aromatic bog myrtle and waving tufts of cotton grass.
Five miles south of Dumfries, the bog of Kirkconnell Flow is one of the most threatened habitats in the world. Admire the green, purple and red shades of Sphagnum mosses and water-loving plants, and the white cotton grass flowers carpeting the bog. Follow the Butterfly Walk and look out for the green hairstreak, orange tip, red admiral, comma and peacock. Watch for common lizards darting around and adders basking in the sun.
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