Tucked away in the hills behind Blackridge is the unexpected jewel of Blawhorn Moss National Nature Reserve (NNR).
The reserve is located near our Drumduff wind farm, so we were thrilled to be invited to the opening of the boardwalk extension, which our site helped to fund. As part of the event, NatureScot invited some local schoolchildren down to cut the hand-crafted ribbon and it was fantastic to see how engaged and excited they were to be exploring the natural area.
“We’re always looking for ways to give back to the communities living and working close to our clean energy sites, so we’re thrilled to be able to play a part in the boardwalk extension and hope it encourages more people to visit the reserve and learn about the wonderful history. We know that biodiversity is heavily impacted by climate change, so for Thrive it’s important that – alongside our renewable projects – we do as much as we can to protect the environment.” – Adrian Warman, Head of Operations, Thrive Renewables
The funding helped to extend the existing boardwalk by 170 metres, creating more paths and links for the local community and visitors to enjoy. There was also a lot of support from local volunteers, including Scotland’s Rural College students from Oatridge, who lay over a thousand anti-slip strips. NatureScot is now planning a second phase, which will see the boardwalk extended a further 280 metres this year.
Made up of raised bogs, the nature reserve plays an important role in reducing carbon emissions. This is because each raised bog contains 1,000 years’ worth of accumulated plant material that can’t rot down – also known as peat. Peat contains a considerable amount of carbon and so, to prevent it being released into the atmosphere, the reserve must be kept waterlogged.
Co-owned by nearby renewable energy developer, GreenPower, Drumduff wind farm is made up of three turbines and built on an old, disused open cast coal mine to the north of Blackridge in West Lothian, Scotland. At 6 MW, it has the capacity to generate enough renewable electricity to meet the annual demand of over 5,000 homes. Read more about our Drumduff wind farm here.