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      Biosphere Reserve Information

United Kingdom


  General Description   Situated in south-west Scotland, this biosphere reserve is composed of two separate sites. Silver Flowe is a unique bog formation and one of the least interrupted undisturbed mire systems in Europe. Its high value is principally due to the landscape pattern of an assemblage of discrete mires. It is also a breeding site for the rare Azure Hawker dragonfly. Silver Flowe is also designated as Ramsar site.
Merrick Kells contains three habitats of European interest: blanket bog, montane acid grasslands, and wet heath with cross-leaved heath. There are mires supporting various communities, and the area has a wide variety of species but low population levels. There are nationally important breeding bird populations, and important invertebrate populations. The site is the largest remaining unafforested area of upland in Galloway.
Both sites are surrounded by commercial coniferous forestry. The management of Merrick Kells and Silver Flowe is mainly carried out through non-intervention, apart from areas where extensive livestock grazing is practiced in order to manage vegetation.
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   Mire dominated by Trichophoreto-Eriophoretum including Sphagnum plumulosum, Drosera anglica, Pleurozia purpurea and Campylopus atrovirens; submontane vegetation including Molinietum and damp Callunetum; rocks with grassy cover supporting Nardus spp. and Juncus squarrosus
  Location   5506'N; 0430'W
  Area (hectares)    
  Total   3,088
  Core area(s)  
  Buffer zone(s)  
  Transition area(s) when given  
  Altitude (metres above sea level)   +228 to +822
  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: 27/02/2002

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