Wildlife trust’s winter talks

Scallop Shell moth Gordon Moss 190614
Scallop Shell moth Gordon Moss 190614

The Scottish Wildlife Trust (SWT), caretaker of eight wildlife reserves in the Borders, celebrates its 50th birthday this year.

The trust’s Berwickshire group, which has 295 members, is holding an evening reception tonight (September 4) for members, past and present, and others, to mark the anniversary.

Local wildlife enthusiasts have supported the charity from its earliest years: the Tweed Valley Branch was the trust’s first local group and several Borders wildlife reserves were created in its early years. Malcolm Lindsay, chairman of SWT’s Central Borders Local Group, which has 820 members, told The Southern: “The trust and its local volunteers improve local reserves, carry out practical conservation work, record local wildlife, advise on planning applications and do educational work, especially with primary schools. In fact, we’d like schools to use us more.”

Winter, locally, brings a programme of wildlife talks – which start next Thursday (September 11), when Roger Manning will deliver a talk entitled Haunts of the Highlands’ at Galashiels Langlee Centre.

Mr Lindsay says of the local reserves: “Access to a few with steep or boggy and marshy ground can be difficult, however public visiting is strongly encouraged at other reserves such as Hare Moss, Pease Dean, Bemersyde Moss, Duns Castle and Yetholm Loch.

He continued: “During this year, we assisted with practical work at Gordon Moss, creating clearings in the birch wood which are likely to benefit birds, butterflies, moths and flowers including several orchid species.

“We have also been busy on the raised bog of Din Moss, helping install plastic dams to stop water draining from the bog. This will help maintain the unique wildlife found in wet boggy peat conditions.

“Several rare species are likely to benefit from these efforts, for example, the Large Heath butterfly at Din Moss and the very attractive Scallop Shell moth, rediscovered at Gordon Moss, its only known Borders site, for the first time since 1955.”

For more information on the local group visit http://scottishwildlifetrust.org.uk/local-member-group/central-borders/