Take a trip out to the bog...
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