Friday, 31 August 2012

Places to Visit 1: Cairnsmore of Fleet

Across the British Isles there are many wonderful places to see carnivorous plants in their natural habitat.

From time to time we will post a few very accessible sites you may wish to visit, whether you are native to the Isles or are visiting from abroad.

First up is the Cairnsmore of Fleet National Nature Reserve, Gatehouse of Fleet, Castle Douglas. Cairnsmore of Fleet is a stunning location towards the south west of Scotland, in a remote part of the Galloways Hills where you will find Drosera rotundifolia and Pinguicula vulgaris.

Blanket Bog - Cairnsmore of Fleet
The internationally important Cairnsmore Reserve is predominantly covered in blanket bog, up to 10m deep in places and over 7,000 years old.

For the less adventurous you can join the Ibye Walk, which starts from the Visitor Centre and is only a short 45 minute walk. Much longer though when distracted by the sundews which litter an area of blanket bog on-route! The bog is found to the west of the path as you starting heading north up hill, shortly after starting your journey. This is a relatively dry area of bog, and can comfortably be accessed in a good pair of walking boots. Here you will find D. rotundifolia in large numbers amongst the grassy vegetation.  Further along the walk D. rotundifolia can even be seen growing amongst the mosses in a weeping rock cutting, once carved into the landscape to form a railway track.

Blanket bog - Inbye Walk
Drosera rotundifolia

Drosera rotundifolia
The more adventurous can access other trails across the Fleet Valley. These are challenging trails, and should only be attempted by well equipped and experienced walkers. Great care must be taken if you head off track onto the blanket bog areas along these walks, where with a good eye you may see P. vulgaris as well as the prolific D. rotundifolia. Unfortunately we are not able to give you a specific area for P. vulagaris along these trails, and if you do go to Cairnsmore it would be well worth contacting Scottish Natural Heritage for direction.

Bog pool - Cairnsmore of Fleet
Besides carnivorous plants the flora and fauna of the heather moorland and blanket bogs, along with the stunning scenery, make this a place not to be missed!

Golden-ringed dragonfly

For more information contact:

SNH Cairnsmore of Fleet Reserve Office
Dromore Farm
Gatehouse of Fleet
Castle Douglas DG7 2BP

Tel: 01557 814435

Friday, 3 August 2012

CPS Goes Cbeebies

On the weekend of 28-29th July the CPS took part in the Cbeebies Mr Bloom's Nursery "Get Set, Grow" tour.

Mr. Bloom's Nursery "Get Set, Grow" Tour, West Bromwich
With short notice CPS Chairman Tim Bailey put together a small team, a collection of plants for display and a children's show and tell, and headed up the M5 to West Bromwich. Accompanying Tim were siblings Eloise and Connor Bailey, and CPS member Mitch Raymond.

Mr Bloom's Nursery is a popular Cbeebies series where children learn from the experience of nurturing vegetables, tended by Mr Bloom and his team of young helpers ('Tiddlers').

Tim said: "It was a great opportunity for the CPS to showcase the hobby, raise children's curiosity (and parents!) and for the kids to handle and explore a range of carnivorous plants close-up [sundews, butterworts, VFTs and various pitcher plants] from around the World."

Mr Bloom filming on location
During the event the CPS did various bits of filming with the BBC, footage of which we hope to see on Mr Bloom's TV program sometime next year.

Promoting the hobby in this way reaches out to new audiences, sows seeds, brings new people into this fantastic pastime and supports our commercial and non-commercial growers - we lost count of how many requests for plants we had!

In all around 7000 children and parents attended the event, most of which passed our way.

Tim added: "It was relentless, just when you thought you had a few moments to take a breath another group of wide-eyed children descended. We felt we talked to everyone!"

The CPS would like to thank the BBC and Mr Bloom's Nursery for inviting us, for their amazing organisation and a for a great experience. We'd also like to thank Mitch Raymond, Eloise and Connor for giving up their time to support our hobby, and for helping give the children a window into the wonderful world of carnivorous plants.

Left to right: Mitch, Connor and Eloise