Fenn's, Whixall and Bettisfield Mosses Peatland Restoration (Shropshire)

Small lake on Whixall Moss ® Espresso Addict
County: Shropshire
Nearest town or settlement: Whitchurch
Contact details
Contact name: Dr Joan Daniels
Organisation: Natural England
Website: http://www.themeresandmosses.co.uk/page/70/restoring-the-marches-mosses.htm
Natural England, National Resources Wales and Shropshire Wildlife Trust
Project description

The mosses of Whixall, Fenn's and Bettisfield form one the largest lowland raised bogs in Britain. This very special habitat is home to an amazing diversity of wildlife. Restoration has been in progress since commercial peat cutting was stopped in 1990. The removal, in 2001, of a large area of self-sown pine forest has allowed a large uncut area of peat bog to be restored. The alder carr woodland provides a rich contrast to the furry bogmoss and cotton sedge, and for sundews, cranberries and bog rosemary of the low lying bog.

The rainwater fed moss provides a home for a diverse range of flora and fauna including 18 species of bog moss, as well as many other characteristic bog plants, such as the insect-eating round-leaved sundew, and more uncommon plants, too, like bog asphodel, bog rosemary, lesser bladderwort, white-beaked sedge, the rare mosses Dicranum bergeri and D.leioneuron and regionally rare golden bogmoss Sphagnum pulchrum.

Invertebrates are thriving after the restoration of the bog, including raft spider, the window-winged sedge caddisfly, and 29 species of dragonfly and damselfly. True bog specialists, including the white-faced darter dragonfly and very rare picture-winged bog craneflies, are now back from the brink of extinction. The Moss has over 670 different species of moth including the pretty little purple-bordered gold, the northern footman, dingy mocha and Manchester treble-bar. The 32 species of butterfly include the unmistakable brimstone, the green hairstreak and the real bog butterfly - the large heath, which lives on cotton sedge and cross-leaved heath.

The restoration of this special landscape aims to:
- preserve the irreplaceable record of our past in the peat
- conserve rare lowland bog biodiversity
- provide wider environmental benefits
- mitigate climate change by keeping the peat carbon stored in the bog

The project team have, with the help of funding, managed this internationally important landscape, improved understanding of the area through local participation in the restoration and protection; made appropriate access available and encouraged further research to be undertaken.

Further reading:
The story of peat (The Mere and Mosses website documents the meres and mosses of Shropshire and the borders)
The Hydrological assessment of the implications of NNR management at Fenn's, Whixall & Bettisfield Mosses (K. Gilman Nov 2000)
Shropshire's National Nature Reserve (Uk Govt: Natural England)

Page last modified on Thursday 07 of April, 2016 15:25:14 BST