Flitwick Moor

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Flitwick Moor

Flitwick Moor

Bedfordshire's most important wetland is a blend of fen, meadow, wet woodland and fragile peaty soil, supporting mosses, ferns and flowers.In the heart of the Flit valley, this superb wetland was left behind when peat was cut from the site as recently as the 1960s. This peat was used in the purification of natural gas in the Midlands. Long before that, the naturally iron-rich groundwater that bubbled up to the surface from springs was bottled and sold as a tonic for the blood.

Woodlands of oak and birch, over dense stands of bracken, reveal the acidic nature of the site. Acid-water springs rise in the reserve, complementing the more alkaline nature of the nearby river Flit. Alder woods have developed in the wetter areas, a rarity nowadays owing to land drainage and conversion to farmland. The wet fen and truly boggy nature of the mire provide the real treasures of the site, including fluffy seed heads of cottongrass, ten species of Sphagnum moss and marsh pennywort - the round leaves of which creep around via slender underground stems. The attractive flowers of meadowsweet, purple-loosestrife and square-stalked St. John's-wort are real eye-catchers.

Tall reeds fringe open water where frogs and toads spawn in the spring, its dense vegetation providing ideal cover for the elusive water rail, only given away by its eerie squealing call. In summer, warblers voice their scratchy songs and nest in the reed and sedge beds.

Best for- Lesser Spotted Woodpecker

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Birdwatching walks at Flitwick Moor Bedfordshire

The Birder's Market | Resource | Birding locations | Birding sites England | Birding sites in Bedfordshire |  Flitwick Moor

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