Forsinard Flows (Highland)

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RSPB reserve

A trip to the RSPB reserve at Forsinard Flows in Sutherland, in the company of the Reserve Manager, Norrie Russell. A visit to Hillhead Primary School building site in Glasgow, with architects Craig Tait and Ian Alexander. A visit to the Caledonian Forest at Glen Moriston, with Alan Watson Featherstone of Trees for Life.

Forsinard Flows is an RSPB reserve in the Flow Country in Sutherland. This is an area of blanket bog, a wet, cold, acidic habitat where it is difficult for most plants to grow. When plants that can grow here, such as sphagnum moss, die, they accumulate and compress forming peat. This process has been going on since the last ice age, about 8000 years ago.

From around 1980, parts of the bog were excavated and forestry planted. This has killed off the natural bog plants and dried out the peat. This has led to the decline of bird species, including waders such as golden plover and dunlin, in areas where trees have ben planted. The RSPB have removed over 2000 hectares of forestry to restore it to native bog.

Features of the area

Highland Group

Highland is one of Scotland’s 32 unitary council areas. It is the largest local government area in both Scotland and the United Kingdom as a whole.

The area was created as a two-tier region in 1975 with Highland Region being divided into eight districts, Badenoch and Strathspey, Caithness, Inverness, Lochaber, Nairn, Ross and Cromarty, Skye and Lochalsh and Sutherland.

In 1996, Highland Regional Council and the district councils were wound up and their functions were transferred to a new Highland Council. It borders Moray, Aberdeenshire, Perth and Kinross, and Argyll and Bute.

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