Beware of the bogs

On Tuesday I went out for a run, mainly cross country, from Airdrie to Blackridge. Much of my route crosses moorland. I had recently got full OS mapping for my GPS, and while running had a look to see if I could vary my route. I saw a number of tracks and paths which I could use, joining up to take me around via the Black Loch. Approaching Easter Whin Farm I called out and the owner came out. I asked if it was alright to pass through, and she said yes, but that the path I was looking for hadn’t been used for years. I was welcome to try…
Dealing with chest high grass and tussocks was one thing, but it soon became very wet. This land is not far from Blawhorn Moss, a blanket bog. At one point I was sinking, waist high in water and moss, and it caused a bit of a panic. There was a fear that if I put a foot down to push myself I would instead sink further down. I managed to get myself onto slightly firmer footing, however had this been a child or someone perhaps older and not as strong it could be a very different situation. Another thing in my favour was that I wasn’t carrying a rucksack. Many years ago while on exercise with the TA near Loch Ness I stepped in a bog and slipped back, the weight of my bergan leaving me like an upturned turtle, and it seemed like an age before I could get the straps off and get free. I’m also reminded of a winter walk with Glasgow HF Outdoor Club on Sgiath Chuill only a few years back. The weather was bad, high winds and driving snow, and we turned back. Coming down we crossed a flat snow covered area, which unknown to me had bog underneath. I went through almost up to my waist, and couldn’t get out. Had it not been for the assistance of the others I’d still be there.

The following day I read this about this on Walk Highlands: LINK. Something to bear in mind when crossing boggy ground alone.

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4 Responses to Beware of the bogs

  1. jester1970 says:

    The man whose body was found in a bog on the Trough of Bowland has been identified as Bill Smith, a fell running legend. The story can be found at

  2. Hi Jim,
    I was up Easter Whin (a forlorn looking pile) way on one of the few fine days of this terrible summer and I avoided the moss.

    and one of the track taken by a cyclist in 2009

    Quiet corner of the area indeed.

    • jester1970 says:

      Thanks for the links Robert. It’s possibly easier to get across in summer, but after as much rain as we’ve had recently I’d echo the words of Richard Webb and say it’s not recommended.

  3. R Webb says:

    I am still traumatised. The bike is fine.

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