It is of national and European importance because peat is continuing to

It is of national and european importance because

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is a component part of Flanders Mosses SAC which lies partly within the DMG area. It is of national and European importance because peat is continuing to accumulate at the site and it has suffered relatively little scrub encroachment. Sphagnum bog mosses are abundant at the site, although heather and harestail cotton grass, both indicative of drier conditions, have become dominant. Consequently when the SSSI was assessed in 2014 it was found to be in unfavourable but recovering condition. The current management regime includes ditch damming and scrub clearance to help reduce further drying out of the site and bring the bog back into favourable condition. Shirgarton Moss SSSI Component of Flanders Mosses SAC Shirgarton Moss SSSI is a small 39 h lowland raised bog site to the north of the village of Kippen. It is also a component of Flanders Mosses SAC which is of European importance for its active raised bog and degraded raised bog. The site is designated for its active bog habitat, being one of few remaining examples in Britain. The site at Shirgarton Moss comprises a relatively intact bog with a raised moss- dominated dome, surrounded by a fringe of birch and Scots pine which supports dry heath and Sphagnum moss bog pools. The site is characterized by heaths, sedges, cotton-grasses and Sphagnum bog-mosses but also has a number of locally rare plants, 6
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Flanders Moss Deer Management Group Designated Sites including white-beaked sedge and bog rosemary. In addition, there are breeding populations of adder and the large heath butterfly. When last assessed, the site was found to be in unfavourable but recovering condition, due to a high abundance of plants such as heather and deergrass which are indicative of historical peat drying. The encroachment of birch and Scots pine, together with non- native rhododendron, is exacerbating drying out of the bog. However, the site is now under proactive management which aims to raise the water table and remove trees and scrub. In so doing, future colonization by trees will be suppressed. Flanders Mosses SAC Flanders Mosses SAC is a 5-site designated area covering 1073 ha. The component sites are Flanders Moss, Shirgarton Moss, Killorn Moss, Collymoon Moss and Offerance Moss SSSIs. Of these, Flanders Moss, Shirgarton Moss and Killorn Moss lie within the proposed Flanders Moss DMG area, accounting for 87 % of the area of the SAC. The qualifying interests of the SAC are two bog features: active raised bog and degraded raised bog. Although both are in unfavourable recovering condition, active management to improve their condition is in place. Threats to Flanders Mosses include over-grazing, deer, a previous lack of proactive management, morphological alterations caused by water and the invasion of both non- native plants and native species, including birch and Scots pine. 7
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  • Summer '14
  • Sphagnum, Flanders Moss Deer Management Group, Flanders Mosses SAC

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