I hope you enjoyed reading about my golden eagle adventure last week; I love how you can only travel a short distance to see something so iconic such as this amazing bird of prey! This week I have been out on the reserve with Rangers, Adam and Andy looking for rare wildflowers. We had a survey done many years ago and it has been on my to do list to go out and check to see if they are still present. The reserve is host to an amazing array of specialist plants, animals and insects which is why we have the designation of Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and it is also why we are part of the Clyde Valley Woodlands National Nature Reserve (NNR).
With a list of over 50 rare wildflower species to look out for, it can be slightly overwhelming to know where to start. Thankfully, Adam has gone through the list and categorised them into flowering times. This breaks it down so we are only looking for maybe ten different flowers a month which is much more manageable!
This month we have been on the look out for a number of saxifrages including purple saxifrage, meadow saxifrage and alternate leaved golden saxifrage along with a number of other plant species. These wildflowers only live in certain places on the reserve, often cliff faces which involves us taking binoculars and a scope out to scan the cliffs for any sign of these plants. It is much easier than bird watching as the plants don’t fly away!
Spending so much time on the reserve recently has allowed me to take some photos, while photographing some primroses; I saw a green veined white butterfly (pictured) hiding in the undergrowth.
Laura Preston – Scottish Wildlife Trust, Falls of Clyde Ranger
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