Fenn's, Whixall & Bettisfield Mosses NNR

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Fen Whixall photograph

Bulrushes on Whixall Moss - geograph.org.uk - 763975

Fenn's, Whixall & Bettisfield Mosses NNR

Fenn's, Whixall & Bettisfield Mosses NNR

The reserve has 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.

Cloudberry grows at a much lower altitude than at its principal upland sites, and northern species like crowberry meet southern ones like cranberry, reflecting the location of the Mosses at the southern limit of raised bog growth.

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.

There are also 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.

Adders and common lizard are also thriving. With the restoration of water levels, there have been major changes in the birdlife of the Mosses, the 166 recorded species including wetland birds such as breeding curlew, teal and shoveller. There have been many more sightings of raptors including hen harrier, short-eared owl and great grey shrike pictured (winter) and hobby and breeding nightjar in heathland areas (summer).

The richer outflow ditches of the Mosses are a stronghold for watervoles




The Birder's Market | Resource | Birding locations | Birding sites England | Birding sites Shropshire |  Fenn's, Whixall & Bettisfield Mosses NNR

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