Take a trip out to the bog...

Macclesfield Express - - WILDLIFE -

GREATER Manch­ester’s wet­lands used to stretch un­in­ter­rupted across much of Lan­cashire and into Mersey­side. They’re now mak­ing a squelchy come­back.

But you don’t have to go out of town to get to the bog: Mos­ton Fair­way na­ture re­serve near the city cen­tre pre­ciously guards Manch­ester’s one and only ur­ban marsh.

Wet­lands and bogs (kids love the word) are not just for welly-wear­ers.

The bog on Mos­ton Fair­way lies along­side wood­land and com­fort­able grassy walk­ways, mak­ing it an ideal fam­ily visit for an hour or two ex­plor­ing na­ture.

School kids on our For­est Schools pro­gramme sup­ported by play­ers of Peo­ple’s Post­code Lot­tery make for­est spirit art­work in the woods, whilst the marsh pro­vides squelchy pond-dip­ping fun. The im­por­tant boggy bio­di­ver­sity in­cludes smooth newts and cot­ton grass - the county plant of Manch­ester.

Mos­ton Fair­way is a lit­tle over the size of a foot­ball pitch but our wider wet­lands work to the west of Manch­ester spreads across a large part of the re­gion’s coun­try­side.

From Chat Moss and Cadishead Moss in Sal­ford to Heysham Moss near Morecambe, we’re in­te­grat­ing sur­viv­ing wet­lands across the re­gion into a con­tin­u­ous Liv­ing Land­scape.

We’re also aim­ing to dou­ble their ex­tent by restor­ing former peat bogs where pos­si­ble. The scale of th­ese ar­eas, with big skies stretch­ing to the hori­zon, is awe­some. Chat Moss alone has 35 km2 of former peat bog and over 1.7 mil­lion peo­ple live within 10 miles – we’ve come a long way since we be­gan by con­serv­ing iso­lated patches in the 1970s.

As we cre­ate na­ture cor­ri­dors to join up peat bogs we help wildlife com­mu­ni­ties con­nect, which makes bio­di­ver­sity more se­cure and re­silient.

Manch­ester wet­lands sup­port wa­ter voles, cute crea­tures that are one of the UK’s most en­dan­gered mam­mals, and lots more bio­di­ver­sity be­sides.

Bird­watch­ers value the sight­ings of un­usual mi­grant species, along with the bit­terns, yel­low wag­tails and wil­low tits. Botanists and bog buffs love the mosses and other marsh plants.

To sup­port the work of the Wildlife Trust for Lan­cashire, Manch­ester and North Mersey­side. Text WILD09 with the amount you want to do­nate to 70070.

●● Wet­lands sup­port an­i­mals like wa­ter voles

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