Friends of Langlands Moss

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CASE STUDY 2

Friends of Langlands Moss Local Nature Reserve – Joining up Paths with Nature Conservation

How adopting paths can help look after a Local Nature Reserve…

 

Name of Access Authority: South Lanarkshire          

Name of group: Friends of Langlands Moss   

Location: Langlands Moss Local Nature Reserve, East Kilbride       

Project: Conserving, restoring and promoting the natural heritage of Langlands Moss

Key points: Encouraging community involvement

                        Links to other organisations plans and policies

                        Work jointly with other groups doing similar things

                        Well organised

                        Interesting and informative website

                        Long term vision and ideas for the future

 

About the Friends of Langlands Moss Local Nature Reserve

The Friends of Langlands Moss is a voluntary group who are working in partnership with various nature conservation and other interested parties in conserving the Moss. Langlands Moss Local Nature Reserve (LNR) is situated on the south side of East Kilbride. The Nature Reserve was formally established in 1996 but the friends were not formally constituted until September 2006.

The group have bought and installed interpretation boards and safety signs along with seats which have been placed on an ‘island’ adjoining the board walk for users to rest.  

The Friends have essentially adopted the paths around the reserve for the benefit of local people and visitors. However, their efforts are also guided by the reserve Management Plan and so the group works closely with SNH and South Lanarkshire Council.

  

Further information about the Friends can be found on their website: www.folm-ek.org

Finding resources (people, money, tools and materials, training, time)

People

The Friends have received support from the local Countryside Ranger Service and they have carried out a number of joint projects including clearing unwanted trees, litter and other debris from the Moss. The paths around the Moss also link to Calderglen Country Park and so provide easy access for visitors.

The South Lanarkshire Criminal Justice Team provided the labour for path resurfacing work.

Money

The Friends have been particularly successful in attracting funding from a range of sources for particular uses. For example the cost of path re-surfacing materials was met by the South Lanarkshire Rural Trust ‘Developing Local Communities Fund’.

A substantial sum of grant-aid was awarded through the BBC Breathing Places scheme along with contributions from the Big Lottery Fund and Scottish Natural Heritage. Much of this money was used to purchase and install dams to retain the water levels of the bog.

Funding is also required for a wide range of projects that help to deliver the public access objectives of the Reserve Management Plan and the Friends are continuing to seek cash to achieve these.

Tools and materials

Although mostly concerned with the conservation aspects of the Nature Reserve the Friends have purchased tools and materials to improve and maintain the path network through the reserve. Given the wet nature of the area specialist dams have been installed to retain the required water levels for the important plants and insects of the reserve whilst protecting pathways and boardwalks from flooding.

Training

After some initial meetings between the ‘Friends’ and South Lanarkshire Council the ‘Friends’ realised that they needed to learn more about Lowland raised bogs so that they would better understand the conservation problems the bogs faced and the best way to integrate public access. To improve their understanding they visited as a group three raised bogs in the Central Belt of Scotland/ Central Scotland Green Network area. These bogs were Flanders Moss, near Stirling which is a National Nature Reserve, Lenzie Moss, north of Glasgow and Greenhead Moss in North Lanarkshire. Interestingly, Lenzie Moss and Greenhead Moss both have ‘Friends’ type groups involved in similar work to the Langlands group so the visits also gave the opportunity to exchange ideas and experience in path adoption and public access on sensitive nature reserve sites.

Time

The Friends have some sort of event every month although it may be a guided walk looking at a particular aspect of the cultural or natural history of the reserve rather than a practical ‘adopt a path’ type task.

Much of the planned work is dictated by the requirements of the Reserve Management Plan but there is always the need to react to problems such as broken boards on boardwalk, unexpected flooding on paths or vandalism.

Work done is recorded is fed back to SNH and South Lanarkshire Council to help update the Reserve Management. It is also placed on the Friend’s website and Facebook Page and included in their Annual Report.

Plans for the Future

Langlands Moss has a wealth of rare wildlife and the Friends see the site as a ‘vital breathing space in our hectic lives’. They are also aware that it could still be improved for both nature conservation and outdoor access for people.

The Friends have ideas of things they would like to see happen over the next few years. The highlights of their ‘wish list’ are as follows:

  • All the link paths between Calderglen Country Park and Langlands Moss improved.
  • Wildflower corridors planted alongside these  paths to encourage more wildlife especially butterflies. This would also give an added attraction for people using the paths.
  • A new boardwalk is about to be installed (autumn 2012) as the current one was deteriorating rapidly and in need of extensive repair.
  • Define the boundary of Langlands Moss in a clearer way to help maintain the improvement of the hydrology.

 

Lessons Learned

1.         Political commitment at local level was important for staff and funding support from Council, SNH and others.

2.         Volunteers come with different knowledge and understanding about paths in terms of acceptable/unacceptable condition and what might realistically be required to bring path up to standard particularly in aLocal Nature Reserve situation.

3.         Local knowledge of how path network is used at different times of year by locals and visitors.

4.         Working to a Nature Reserve Management Plan was helpful in deciding priorities and avoiding conflict between conservation and access.

5.         Website very helpful to promote the work of the Friends but needed a lot of work to keep it up to date.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

© 2014 Paths for All - Registered Scottish Charity No: SC025535, Company Limited by Guarantee No: 168554 inc. 19 Sept 1996 at Companies House, Edinburgh