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Red Moss, a Site of Special Scientific Interest, supports one of the world's rarest and most remarkable habitats. Pollen analysis has revealed the first peat deposits of the northwest's mosslands to be from around 8000 years BC making Red Moss an impressive 10,000 years old.


Working With Mosslands

Mosslands used to be common in the Northwest, the high rainfall being ideal for this wetland habitat. However, in Lancashire since 1840, 99% of mossland habitat has been destroyed; mainly due to changes in agriculture and forestry and most recently the increase of commercial extraction of peat from sites. It is now certain that lowland mossland in the British Isles with significant nature conservation value cover less than 10,000 ha (5% of the area that existed in 1850). The loss of mosslands worldwide is so extensive that European guidelines stress that any peatland capable of restoration is considered to be of European Importance. Click here to read about our mosslands project 


Red Moss Restoration Work

Since 1999, the Trust has been undertaking large-scale capital works to block drainage ditches and raise water levels within the mossland to a level suitable for the growth of mossland species. Baulkways, strips of higher land, have been created to isolate the mossland so that the site is now fed purely from rainfall and helps protect the site from pollution. Water levels have risen considerably and mossland vegetation is now beginning to flourish over a wider area of the site. It is also hoped that in the future many of the species that have been lost can be re-established.