Visiting the Mosses

Experience the Mystery and Beauty of the Mosses

The Marches Mosses are a magical place, an unforgettable day out for the whole family, a way to reconnect with nature. Walk along the shady wooded paths into the Moss, emerging into the open expanse of the peatland. Experience the tranquility and quiet that is so difficult to find in today’s bustling urban life.

Look up at the big sky, unusual an area surrounded by towns and cities.

Whixall Moss Credit: Tim Walter

Now look at the ground under your feet – restored peatland that bounces as you walk on it.

Created more than 10,000 years ago as the glaciers that covered much of Britain receded, the Marches Mosses are one of the largest raised peat bogs in Britain. The Mosses are one of the rarest habitats on earth and an enormous carbon store, holding more carbon acre for acre than forest does. It’s a haven for plants and wildlife that thrive in the acidic peat. Many of these are seen in very few other places on earth.

The Mosses was badly damaged over hundreds of years as peat was cut for fuel and parts of the Moss drained for commercial peat cutting. Beginning in 2012, Shropshire Wildlife Trust, Natural England and Natural Resources Wales have been working to restore the 2,500 acres of the Mosses to healthy, functioning ecosystems again.

In 2018, Sinker’s Fields were added to the Marches Mosses landscape.  Across the Morris’ Bridge over the Llangollen Canal, they are a wonderful site for watching a wide range of birds.

Walking on the Mosses

There are a number of marked walking trails on the Mosses including the Mosses Trail; The Viewfinder Trail; a walk along the Llangollen Canal towpath from Morris’ Bridge to a viewing platform looking out over the Moss; the History Trail that passes the most historically-important sites on the Mosses; and a circular trail on Bettisfield Moss.

Birdwatching on Sinker’s Fields

In 2018, Sinker’s Fields were added to the Marches Mosses landscape.  Across the Morris’ Bridge over the Llangollen Canal, they are a wonderful site for watching a wide range of birds. In the near future, Shropshire Wildlife Trust will install a bird hide at the edge of the site.  It will be easily accessible and provide a quiet site to watch the birds on Sinker’s Fields in any weather.

Wood Sandpiper at Sinker’s Fields Credit: Stephen Barlow


Spoonbill at Sinker’s Fields Credit: Stephen Barlow

Future Development on the Mosses

In addition to the walking trails on the Mosses, Shropshire Wildlife Trust is developing some exciting visitor facilities. These will include:

  • Interpretation stations on the Viewfinder Trail, where you can learn more about the development of the Mosses and the amazing wildlife, some of which are found only in this rare habitat.
  • A viewing platform where you can look out over the expanse of the 2,500 acre Mosses.
  • A bird hide at Sinker’s Fields, so birdwatchers can sit in tranquil comfort while looking for the wide variety of species that visit the fields.

These will be accessible on foot from the Morris’ Bridge car park.  Watch the Meres and Mosses website for updates on the grand openings of these facilities over the coming months.

Visiting the Marches Mosses

You can arrive by car, canal boat, cycle or on foot.

There are car parks at the Morris’ Bridge and several other entrances to the Mosses. You can moor your canal boat near Morris’ Bridge and walk to the Mosses, or you can walk from the nearby Whixall Marina.

Whether you are interested in wildlife, history, taking photographs, painting, or simply want to walk in a peaceful area, there is something for you at the Marches Mosses.

How to find the Marches Mosses

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More information about your visit

Click on the links below for suggestions based on your interests.

Wildlife and nature

Walking trails


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