Wem moss works underway

Wem Moss is an outstanding example of lowland raised bog habitat, located in north Shropshire between Ellesmere and Wem. Although little known, this site is of international importance, recognised with designations at national, European and global levels. It is home to a range of amazing species including Sphagnum mosses, carnivorous plants, raft spiders and adders.

Wem Moss is probably the most important site within the Meres & Mosses – unlike nearby Fenns Whixall, Wem Moss was never commercially mined for peat, and therefore survives comparatively intact. However local land drainage has impacted on the site over the decades, such that it has slowly declined, becoming drier than is ideal and unsuitable for the wildlife which depends on it. Staff from the Meres & Mosses project are looking to rectify this situation in conjunction with Shropshire Wildlife Trust and Middlemarch Environmental.

An existing line of plastic sheet piling was installed along the north-west boundary of the site a few years ago, intended to reduce the amount of water draining from the site. This original piling has proven insufficient, so the main solution identified for Wem Moss is to install a further 340 metres of plastic sheet piling around the moss  to improve the retention of water on the site. Based on a range of research, a proposed line of piling has been designed by consultant Phil Fermor (of Middlemarch Environmental).

The further 340m of sheet piling is to be installed in the next fortnight, to contain more rain water on the site and to prevent it from drying out further. Piling will also be used to block existing drainage channels, which currently allow huge amounts of water to drain from the site. The work will enable peat-bog specialist wildlife such a raft spiders to spread back across the moss as the habitat becomes more favorable.

Keep updated on the work by visiting the blog here

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Did you know?...

The Water vole declined by 90% in the 1970s in England, but is still found in many parts of the Meres and Mosses.

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