Reserve Focus: Fenn’s, Whixall and Bettisfield Mosses NNR

Fenn’s, Whixall and Bettisfield Mosses NNR, collectively known as the Mosses, is one of the largest and most southerly raised bogs. James Robertson describes the history of the reserve; the special array of wildlife that can be found there, including the White-faced Darter and Large Heath; and the conservation and management of the Mosses.  From

Landscape-scale conservation in the Meres and Mosses

A Government-led landscape-scale initiative aims to create a step change in nature conservation. But what does this mean in practice? Using one of the recently designated Nature Improvement Areas as an example, the author tests the initiative’s principles. In 2010, Professor Sir John Lawton was commissioned by the Government to undertake a review of nature

The restoration of Thorne and Hatfield Moors

Thorne and Hatfield Moors is the collective name for Thorne Waste, Snaith and Cowick Moor, Rawcliffe, Goole and Crowle Moors, and Hatfield Moors, the two largest lowland raised bogs in Britain and situated mainly in south-east Yorkshire, with parts in north Lincolnshire, as the head of the Humber estuary. 

The Flow Country revisited

Older readers, at least, of British Wildlife will remember how, 21 years ago, a major conservation controversy arose in the remotest corner of Britain: the plan to afforest the vast peatland area in Caithness and Sutherland that we now call the Flow Country

The Bog Hoverfly on Dartmoor

The UK Biodiversity Action Plan (BAP) has stimulated the study of a number of previously little-known invertebrates to further their conservation. However, this process has included several species that, with hindsight, no supervisor would set as a PhD subject. 

The deadly world of Britain’s carnivorous plants

If I had a magic carpet to whisk me to anywhere in the world, I think that I might choose the part of south-east Venezuela known as the Guyana Shield. The real-life setting of Conan Doyle’s The Lost World, this is an area of sand-stone plateaux which rise sheer from the rain forest.

Reserve Focus: Askham Bog, North Yorkshire

Tucked away between three main roads, embraced on three sides by a golf course and agricultural land, Askham Bog is a remnant of lowland raised mire. Covering 44.7ha, it is owned by the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust. Indeed, its purchase in 1946 created the Trust. A Site of Special Scientific Interest since 1961, in recent years

Reserve focus – Crymlyn Bog NNR

At first sight, Crymlyn Bog is an unprepossessing place, encircled by some of the least attractive legacies of our industrialised society. Down the western side stride power lines punctuated by a refuse tip, which towers disturbingly over the low-lying reserve. The narrow neck of land between bog and sea has been taken over by roads,

Reserve Focus – Chartley Moss NNR, Staffordshire

Chartley Moss is Britain's largest and best example of a 'schwingmoor' or floating bog. It forms a key part of the nationally-important series of bogs and meres that abound in the region where Cheshire, Staffordshire and Shropshire adjoin.

Reserve Focus – Dowrog Common, Pembrokeshire

Dowrog Common Nature Reserve, owned by the National Trust, and managed by the Wildlife Trust West Wales, formerly the Dyfed Wildlife Trust, is the largest and most diverse of a series of almost treeless lowland heaths on the St Davids Peninsula. Some 101ha in extent, Dowrog is joined to the south-west by Waun Fawr (16ha)

Identification – British Cotton-grasses

The cotton-grasses are familiar to a wide range of countrygoers: to the walker they warn of dangerous ground; to the naturalist they highlight plant communities of the highest quality; and to the seeker of solitude they are indicators of landscapes as yet untamed by man. Despite this familiarity, many naturalists have difficulty in putting the

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