The Flow Country

The Flow Country is an incredibly rare wildlife habitat, found in just a few places in the world. It’s location in the very far north of Scotland means it doesn’t get too many visitors and today I believe we had the entire vast space all to ourselves.

The Forsinard Flows has barely changed in 6000 years according to those in the know. The layer sof dark peat below the mosses one sees on the surface contain a detailed 8000 year archive of plant remains, preserved pollen and ash from volcanic eruptions from Iceland.

Peatlands are fragile habitats yet the peaty black lochan water is studded with tiny flowers, buzzing insect life and moths, whilst the still water reflects the big sky overhead.

Most stunning of all in autumn is the rich seasonal red and golden hues of the sphagnum moss in contrast with burnished yellows and browns of heathers and grasses.

The colourful carpet of bog mosses is the powerhouse of a living bog. They act as a sponge and can hold eight times their own weight in water.

I am so pleased we made a special effort to get to Forsinard today. You should visit too, but there’s no desperate rush as it’ll be a goodly while yet I reckon.