Away from the blanket bogs of north and west Scotland, the Large Heath is confined to these special lowland bogs or 'mosses'. Sites like this are now a rare and important feature of the lowland Scottish landscape.
Lowland raised bog is now a very scarce habitat, restricted to the high rainfall in the northern and western parts of the British Isles. Nearly 90% of its former area has been lost in Scotland. This excellent example of this highly distinctive and threatened habitat is protected as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).
The Large Heath (Coenonympha tullia) is our only bog specialist butterfly; its caterpillars can even survive short periods underwater when its foodplant, Hare’s-tail Cottongrass (Eriophorum vaginatum) gets submerged.
The best time to visit to see the Large Heath butterflies is from mid-June to late July when many of the typical ‘moss’ plants will also be on show, including the nationally scarce Bog-rosemary (Andromeda polifolia).
This reserve belongs to Stirling Council and has been established as a partnership with Butterfly Conservation Scotland and the local community.
Grid Ref: NS 836907 OS Map: 57 Area: approx 30ha
The reserve is on the outskirts of the village of Fallin, which is three miles from the centre of Stirling.
On foot, access is possible via a ‘bing’, a low hill of old coal waste from the former Polmaise Colliery, which has since been landscaped and seeded with wildflowers and planted with trees. The bing lies just off the main road though Fallin, by the open air mining museum.
Sustrans cycle route Sustrans Route 1 ‘Round the Forth’ runs through Fallin and past the mining museum and car park.
Nearest railway station Stirling station is three miles / five km away
Nearest bus stop Fallin village is well-served by local buses from Stirling. For times, please check with Traveline Scotland on 0871 200 22 33 or visit www.travelinescotland.com
- From Stirling, take the A905 from the town centre towards Fallin and Grangemouth
- The reserve (and bing) are at the eastern end of the village
- Park in the small car park adjacent to the mining museum at NS840914, which lies next to some light industrial units
Site Access and Safety
Raised bogs are wet throughout the year. Soft ground and deep drainage ditches can be hidden from view so please take great care when visiting.
Most ticks are little more than an irritation, but a few can transmit Lyme disease, a rare and potentially serious illness which is treatable with antibiotics if diagnosed early. It is therefore important to be informed and take some simple precautions.
Please contact us for details of upcoming work parties, or check under 'Events'.
Work on this nature reserve has and is being funded by Butterfly Conservation members and Branches, Clackmannanshire & Stirling Environment Trust, the Scottish Rural Development Programme, the Inner Forth Landscape Initiative, a contribution of the Life+ financial instrument of the European community through the 'EcocoLIFE' project, and Scottish Natural Heritage.
Butterfly Conservation Scotland
- Tel: 01786 447 753
- Email Scotland@butterfly-conservation.org