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Claish Moss is an upland blanket bog on the south side of Loch Shiel, in the Sunart district of the west highlands of Scotland

Designated24 July 1981
Reference no.218[1]

The Moss is designated as a Ramsar site of international importance (designated in 1981), a Special Area of Conservation (designated together with Kentra Moss), and a Site of Special Scientific Interest.

The remote and difficult to access 568 ha reserve, at an elevation of 11 m - 55 m (average: 22 m), is home to a nationally important population of 9 different dragonfly species.[2]

The Moss is an example of a patterned raised mire system in good condition, which are rare in western Europe. Divided by several burns,[2] the ground is very wet and the water quality is excellent. The reserve supports 14 different species of moss, as well as scarce higher plants.

Red deer are culled annually to prevent overgrazing, as they lack natural predators with the extinction of the wolf in Scotland.

Visitors are not encouraged to visit the reserve as it is dangerous to walk over, with the many partially hidden bog pools often being of a great depth. It is in any case difficult to access, except by private boat. The only established footpath to the edge of the reserve is the forestry track at Sròn na Gaoithe, south-east of Ardshealach.[3] There are no paths within the actual reserve.

Due to the inaccessibility of the site, Claish Moss had its status as a National Nature Reserve removed in 2011.[4]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Claish Moss". Ramsar Sites Information Service. Retrieved 25 April 2018.
  2. ^ a b "National Nature Reserve - Claish Moss - 'A Patterned Blanket'" (PDF). Scottish Natural Heritage. Retrieved 19 June 2011.
  3. ^ "Visiting Claish Moss". Scotland's National Nature Reserves. Scottish Natural Heritage. Retrieved 14 June 2011.
  4. ^ "Scottish National Heritage" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 14 October 2012. Retrieved 20 June 2014.

Coordinates: 56°44′50″N 005°44′50″W / 56.74722°N 5.74722°W / 56.74722; -5.74722