Red Moss of Balerno

Red Moss of Balerno, on the edge of the Pentland Hills, is the only raised bog in the City of Edinburgh. The deep peat layer has accumulated over thousands of years. In summer and autumn, the peatland is covered in a blanket of pink-purple heather, sundews, ragged-robin and Sphagnum mosses.

Dragonflies and damselflies can be spotted darting around and the damp peatland habitat is ideal for frogs, toads and newts.

A circular boardwalk leads around the reserve.

Heather © Brenda White

Why visit?

  • Peatland plants
  • Damselflies and dragonflies

Best time to visit?

  • May to Aug for peatland plants
  • May to Aug for dragonflies

Visit for:

  • Pond
  • Peatlands
  • Wildflowers


Take the A70 west from Edinburgh over the city bypass. Continue through Juniper Green and Currie until the traffic lights. Turn left into Balerno then take another left just after the school. Continue straight on this road which heads south out of Balerno, going past the SSPCA centre on the left to the Pentlands Regional Park car park (also on your left), which is located east of Red Moss.

Getting onto the reserve

From the car park, walk south on the road until the reserve entrance, located about 100m further on to your right. A circular boardwalk will take you around the reserve.

Getting round this reserve

The circular boardwalk is suitable for wheelchairs and leads to a pond. Visitors are requested to stay on the boardwalk due to the wet and soft, peaty ground which can be damaged by trampling. Visitors are also requested not to cycle on the boardwalk.


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