Mosslands Team Blog - May 2016

Wednesday 25th May 2016

Signs of summer have appeared on the Mosslands and the excitement of new seasonal visitors makes for an interesting read in this latest blog from the Chat Moss project team...

By Beth Attwood

As late spring opens into summer, the mosslands have burst into life! Many of our summer visitors have arrived as swallows and swifts swoop over the skies above, and the cotton grass is in flower. On Astley Moss, the first dragonflies and butterflies of the year are being seen. Some of our volunteers were also lucky enough to see a tawny owlet (pictured above) perched on a tree snoozing in the afternoon sun - it barely blinked an eye as we walked past in awe.

We have more lovely volunteers getting involved in our wildlife watching– in the last few weeks we have surveyed amphibians, lizards, brown hare and summer birds to see what is out and about on the reserves. A total of 6 brown hares were spotted within an hour and a half on Little Woolden Moss during a bright and sunny dawn survey, and at our Dawn Chorus walk we didn’t get a moments rest identifying the continous bird song! The Exmoor ponies (pictured) have moved in to graze over summer which has brought a lot of excitement to many too.

The practical work is in full swing and positive progress is being made on the mosslands. We are pleased to announce that after weeks of hammering, tensioning wire and knocking in some very heavy fence posts... the fence on Astley Moss is now complete! Many thanks to all the volunteers who have put in so many hours.

Over on Little Woolden Moss, the volunteers welcomed a mystery activity with the creation of floating bogs which were navigated onto pools of water to aid the spread of vegetation.

There is a new force to be reckoned with – the Sphagnum Squad! This is a group of volunteers who are help with sphagnum spread and propagation on Little Woolden Moss. They meet on alternative Fridays and Sundays to venture out onto the bare peat and help make the reserve look much greener in the future!

If you would like to get involved in the Sphagnum Squad, please contact Anna at:

Meanwhile, Lydia has been busy getting the local community out and about appreciating the Mossland wildlife. Scout groups have been building dens, while a week of local school visits meant many children had the opportunity to see a wild space close to their home . As well as this, the Harry Potter Wild Families event was a great success as children got involved in magic and wizardry activities. Look out for more treats to come this summer starting with a Minecraft Wild Families event on Thursday 2nd June!

Finally, we are delighted to report that we are progressing well with ‘The Friends of Cadishead and Little Woolden Moss.’ If you would like to have your say on the future of the moss or just want to know more, please come to one of our next meetings: Tuesday 7th June & Tuesday 5th July, 7.00pm in the community room at the Irlam and Cadishead College

If you would like any more information about practical volunteering, community events, or any other aspect of the Chat Moss Project - please contact us on 01204 663754 or email any of the following team members:

Elspeth Ingleby, Conservation Officer

Lydia McCool, Community Engagement Officer