Choose from six walking trails

You can choose from six walking trails on the Marches Mosses.  The Bettisfield Moss trail starts at the World’s End car park. From the Shed Yard car park, you can follow the History Trail which crosses Fenn’s and Whixall Mosses.  You can follow the Purple Trail as it passes Fenn’s Old Works, the Green Trail starts near Morris’ Bridge and has viewfinders along the route, the Orange trail passes along the canal and through the Marl allotment, and the Mammoth Trail is a more accessible trail which heads straight to the Mammoth Tower viewing platform.

Songbirds on the Mosses

You can look – and listen – for songbirds in the trees along the disused railway line and the wooded edges of the Mosses.  These include stonechat, spotted flycatcher, the wonderfully-named chiffchaff and the willow warbler, with its evocative descending call .

Butterflies on the Mosses

So far, butterfly watchers have identified 27 species of butterflies on the Mosses, including the rare and nationally-protected large heath.  How many can you spot?

Birds on the Mosses in the Autumn

Wildfowl and wader birds use the Mosses on their autumn passage, including greenshank, golden plover ruff and dunlin.

Dragonflies on the Mosses

Volunteer dragonfly counters have identified 26 species of dragonflies and damselflies on the Marches Mosses, more than on any other site in Shropshire.

White-faced darter on the Marches Mosses

Male White-faced Darter Credit: Stephen Barlow

The white-faced darter, a nationally-noted species, is found on the Mosses. It needs the Mosses’ habitat mix – shallow pools, open water and moss cover.

New peatland being created on the Mosses

New peatland is being created on eight acres of disused land on the edge of Whixall Moss, as part of the BogLIFE project to regenerate the Marches Mosses.  The turf that’s being removed to reveal the underlying peat will create a new habitat on the edge of the former scrapyard.

Historical record

Peat preserves an extensive range of remains – pollen, microscopic animals, entire plants, inorganic remains from the start of the Industrial Revolution, even bog bodies. These form a unique record of the past, including information about climate shifts over the centuries. This information allows scientists to compare the current climate crisis with older climatic changes, helping them to understand the intensity of the current climate emergency.

Important wildlife site

Peatlands are important sites for wildlife, some of which are found only in the peatlands.

Wonderful place to visit

The Marches Mosses are wonderful to visit. Walking in the wide open spaces, you can find the tranquillity that is rare in urban life.