The Meres and Mosses of Delamere

In the summer of 2011, Habitats and Hillforts undertook a parternship project working with Natural England, the Forestry Commission and the Cheshire Wildlife Trust to facilitate the restoration of approximatley 29ha of important mere and moss habitat within the Delamere area. The project is now complete, with management work drawing to a close on ten sites in March 2012.

Blakemere head mid clearance

Blakemere Head by David Bailey, Old Oak Tree Care

Blakemere Head by David Bailey, Old Oak Tree Care

Meres and Mosses are an internationally important wetland complex, collectively forming one of the most significant wetland landscapes in lowland England. The condition of the constituent sites (of which there are hundreds), including SSSIs is poor, with many once-linked wetlands now isolated from one another other by intensive farmland and drained peat.

The peat mosses occur throughout the Cheshire, Shropshire and Staffordshire Plain and form the most significant nature conservation resource in the region. At a smaller scale there are several distinct concentrations of mosses and open waters of particular importance, often linked hydrologically (at least historically), forming distinct mini-wetland landscapes. Their health is dependent on internal conditions being right, i.e. drainage reversed, inflows and outflows blocked if appropriate, trees removed, and the sensitive management of the catchment.

Doolittle Moss

Doolittle Moss, by David Bailey, Old Oak Tree Care

Doolittle Moss, by David Bailey, Old Oak Tree Care

The Meres and Mosses series comprises hundreds of wetlands ranging from up to 100ha to less than 1 ha that occupy basins amidst the hummocky post-glacial landscape of Cheshire, north Shropshire, west Staffordshire and the eastern most extremity of Wales. These basin wetlands support a wide range of habitats, from open water bodies through to wet woodland, and lowland raised bog where the basins have in-filled with peat.