Forsinard Flows is a nature reserve run by the RSPB (Royal Society for the Protection of Birds) and a place that has come to be very close to my heart. Primarily peatland, Forsinard is an internationally important habitat for that reason alone. It is also home and breeding habitat for a variety of important, beautiful and endangered species.
I started volunteering at the reserve on and off about three years ago, doing what I can while periodically visiting the area. There is, as far as I’m aware, nowhere in the country quite like it. It is so vast, possibly the last remaining true wilderness in mainland Britain. I could walk out into that immense and unforgiving landscape never to return or be found. You feel that, out on the bog, but more than that you feel how rich it is with life.
At the beginning of April I designed and began painting up a mural in the Forsinard visitor centre. It is being painted on the main wall on the right as you walk in and has been attracting the attention of visitors already. The mural aims to highlight as much of the iconic flora and fauna of the Flow Country as possible, providing a visual summery and talking point for the visitor centre. I want to show just how rich with life Forsinard is, as well as hint at the delicate and precious nature that underlies its formidable appearance. For as remote and wild as it seems, humanity has and continues to attempt to do serious damage this place.
I hope to finish the mural by the beginning of June, so if you want to watch me painting or see the work in progress come on up and pop in. Opening hours are 10am-5pm.
Look out for updates here too.