Rare frag­ment of moss land

Macclesfield Express - - WILDLIFE -

LIT­TLE Woolden Moss is a re­cov­er­ing moss land close to Ir­lam and Cadishead, which was pre­vi­ously an ex­panse of low­land raised bog – and there­fore is a valu­able frag­ment of wet­land within the Great Manch­ester area.

It sup­ports 10,000-yearold bog oak as well as many wet­land species which are in rapid de­cline in the UK. Funded by the Her­itage Lot­tery Fund, mem­bers of the Chat Moss Pro­ject (as part of the Lan­cashire Wildlife Trust) have been work­ing hard to re­store the area to a liv­ing, breath­ing moss land, to cre­ate a bet­ter habi­tat for wildlife af­ter years of peat ex­trac­tion.

Weekly work party days are open to all, bring­ing will­ing vol­un­teers on to the moss to help out with con­ser­va­tion tasks, from which they gain en­vi­ron­men­tal skills and knowl­edge, and of­ten friend­ships. Re­cently they have been plant­ing el­der, hazel and hawthorn along an ex­ist­ing strip of trees to en­hance the habi­tat as a wildlife cor­ri­dor for bird species such as the wil­low tit.

As well as this, the Chat Moss Pro­ject hold a va­ri­ety of events from guided walks and sur­vey­ing to ac­tiv­ity days for lit­tle ones – giv­ing the lo­cal com­mu­nity a chance to dis­cover what won­der­ful wildlife is on their doorstep.

The ded­i­cated vol­un­teers have seen a vast im­prove­ment in the wildlife since the pro­ject has been run­ning – for ex­am­ple there are much bet­ter num­bers of reed bunting and snipe.

How­ever, the pro­tec­tion of this fas­ci­nat­ing habi­tat can’t be main­tained with­out your sup­port. The Chat Moss Pro­ject is set­ting up a Friends of Group for Lit­tle Woolden Moss.

This will be a group of in­di­vid­u­als who will play a key role in the preser­va­tion of the moss land in the fu­ture – a great op­por­tu­nity for lo­cal res­i­dents to learn some­thing new and be­come more con­nected to na­ture.

This beau­ti­ful na­ture re­serve needs you to help pro­tect the rare species it sup­ports. So why not do some­thing dif­fer­ent? This is a fan­tas­tic way to meet like-minded peo­ple while help­ing to re­store one of the rarest en­vi­ron­ments in the UK.

For those who would like to know more, the pro­ject is hold­ing a meet­ing on Tues­day, March 1, at 6.30pm.

Ev­ery­one is wel­come for tea, cake and a chat about how you could get in­volved.

The pro­ject is also run­ning a Hare Walk on Fri­day, March 18, at 5pm, for any­one who would like to look around the beau­ti­ful site.

For more in­for­ma­tion, or if you are hop­ing to at­tend ei­ther of th­ese events, please con­tact Beth Attwood on battwood@lanc­swt.org.uk or call 01204 663754.

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.

The Wildlife Trust for Lan­cashire, Manch­ester and North Mersey­side is ded­i­cated to the pro­tec­tion and pro­mo­tion of the wildlife in Lan­cashire, seven bor­oughs of Greater Manch­ester and four of Mersey­side, all ly­ing north of the River Mersey.

It man­ages around 40 na­ture re­serves and 20 lo­cal na­ture re­serves cov­er­ing acres of wood­land, wet­land, up­land and meadow.

The trust has 27,000 mem­bers, and over 1,200 vol­un­teers.

To be­come a mem­ber of the trust go to the web­site at www.lanc­swt.org.uk or call 01772 324129. For more about Cheshire Wildlife Trust call 01948 820728 or go to cheshire wildlifetrust.org.uk.

●● Lit­tle Woolden Moss near Ir­lam

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