Blakenhall Moss

Every other Sunday I work with a local group, the Crewe & Nantwich Conservation Volunteers, who undertake practical conservation tasks for a number of sites for a range of organisations. Today, we were removing (cutting down and burning) rhododendron from Cheshire Wildlife Trust’s Blakenhall Moss reserve.

The reserve was bought by the Trust last year and they have been working hard to improve the site.  The Moss is a sunken mire, essentially a bog that has formed in a large depression.  Over the years, the Moss had become overgrown with trees and the site was completely covered in woodland.  The Trust’s plan is to return the Moss to its former glory, through clearing the woodland and re-wetting the site. Over the past few weeks, the Trust has employed a contractor to remove the trees from most of the site, leaving a narrow ring of woodland around the outside.  The photo below shows how the centre of the Moss has been cleared.

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From the photo below, you can see how the Trust’s work, alongside the recent rainfall, has already had an incredible effect.

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I have been doing bird surveys for the Trust and while I was at the Moss today I did the second survey for the site.   My job wasn’t made easy by the raised water level and if it rises any more, I’ll have to do the survey from outside of the site or by boat!

Doing the survey was a great way to spend a couple of hours; with the birds singing, the bluebell shoots poking through and the sun starting to gain strength, Spring seems just around the corner. The badgers have also been more active at the site, with freshly dug spoil around their sets and plant bulbs dug up.  I’ve been given permission to go back to the site and set up my camera trap to catch a few shots of these guys – can’t wait!

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