Twelve walkers from Whitley WI arrived at Abbots Moss and were met by Katie the ranger who works for The Cheshire Wildlife Trust, a charity which is helping to protect and restore the ecosystem of Delamere’s delicate moss lands. This includes Abbots Moss which is covered entirely by a carpet of sphagnum known as quaking bog. This floating raft of Moss began forming 7,000 years ago, in the Neolithic period, about the same time that humans first began farming in Britain.
The WI members were suitably clad in jackets and wellies ready for the inclement weather and the ‘bog walk’. They crossed over the main track to South Moss reaching it along a path, carefully finding their way through the overgrown bracken and brambles.
Katie then guided walkers onto the safe areas of the bog, having talked about how the plants and animals that lived there, had over time, adapted to their surroundings. Hares-tail cotton-grass, bog cranberry, green hairstreak butterfly and the white faced darter dragonfly are some of the many different and rare species. Peatlands are amazing wild places teeming with birds, insects as well as plants.
It was like standing on a bouncy wet sponge!
Blanket bogs are also important for storing carbon, so can reduce global warming significantly. Over thousands of years these plants have slowly captured carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. For this reason it is essential that they are conserved.
The whole morning was very enlightening and helped all to realise the importance of moss lands. Thanks and goodbyes were given to Katie, after which some of the group made their way to The Plough at Whitegate to enjoy lunch, have a good chat and to discuss where to walk next month.
Pictured in top photo: Chris, Pat, Jean, Joyce, Mary, Yvonne, Annette, Susan, Eleanor, Rita, Ann and Sue. Lower picture shows Ann (our leader) bouncing on the bog.