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      Biosphere Reserve Information

United Kingdom


  General Description   Situated in south-west Scotland in the Wigtown district, Cairnsmore of Fleet is representative of unafforested granite massif, low level moorland, montane grassland, and dwarf shrub heath. It is the most extensive area of open moorland in Galloway. The reserve contains plants at their northern and western limits, nationally scarce plants, breeding and upland birds, mammals and invertebrates of interest, and upland raptors such as golden eagle, merlin and hen harrier. There is also a population of wild goats. Much of the site is managed by grazing and burning to maintain habitat for birds. There is progressive management to maintain red and black grouse. One of the main challenges facing the site is the re-establishment of extensive cattle and sheep grazing through work with farmers. A decline in farming of traditional breeds, such as belted Galloway cattle, has reduced the potential for such practices, with farmers operating with less sturdy breeds more suited to lowland grazing.
Proposals made in the periodic review for extending this reserve to meet the Seville criteria are being considered.
  Major ecosystem type   Temperate broadleaf forests or woodlands
  Major habitats & land cover types   Purple moor grass (Molinia caerulea) areas, often with bog myrtle (Myrica gale) and Sphagnum spp.; heather (Calluna vulgaris) and Vaccinium myrtillus heath with local Trichophorum - Eriophorum blanket mire; summits with Festuca ovina, Vaccinium myrtillus and Racomitrium lanuginosum heath and Carex bigelowii
  Location   5458'N; 0417'W
  Area (hectares)    
  Total   1,922
  Core area(s)  
  Buffer zone(s)  
  Transition area(s) when given  
  Altitude (metres above sea level)   +200 to +650
  Year designated   1976
  Administrative authorities  
  Brief description   Climate and environmental change
Land use history
Mire ecology
  Specific variables...    
  Abiotic   Climate.
  Biodiversity   Ecology, fauna, flora.
  Socio-economic   n.a.
  Integrated monitoring   Environmental change, land use/land cover.
  Contact address   Andrew Bielenski
Scottish Natural Heritage - Holmpark Industrial Estate
New Galloway Road
DG8 6BF Newton Stewart - Wigtownshire
United Kingdom
  Telephone   (44.1671) 401 075
  Fax   (44.1671) 401 078
  Web site

Last updated: 11/03/2005

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