Danes Moss Nature Reserve, Danes Moss, Gawsworth, Macclesfield, SK11 9QS – Visit Now
Danes Moss Nature Reserve is a sanctuary of lowland raised bog, making it one of the scarcest and most threatened habitats in the UK. Commonly described as the largest example in Cheshire of a cut-over raised mire, the site is a valuable and extraordinary example of a now-limited habitat, proving how taming and curating at the hands of experts can cultivate rare and rich breeding which not only prevails for its triumphant work with thin-on-the-ground foliage but uses that foliage to create a habitat which, unequalled in its exhibition of first-class conditions, caters to an array of living species.
Sphagnum moss pervades, important for forming the peat, which is crucial to the specificities of the land. Species-spotters will note the varieties of moss, with at least six noted and investigated to date. The peat is of a substantial thickness, making it unusual and rare ground for growing such valuable fen. The sheer scale here is second-to-none. The locally uncommon plants found here are specially cultivated, including round-leaved sundew, marsh cinquefoil and fen bedstraw. Flying insects abound. Eleven species of dragonfly and nineteen species of butterfly have been recorded, with plans to expand the reserve constantly evolving.
Long-term plans involve turning the terrain into heathland, and improving the paths and trails to extend the walks and involvement on offer. Having undergone some significant transformations, the charm of the site is how it retains and preserves its habitat, not only showcasing uncommon conditions but, moreover, thriving within them, allowing visitors to experience its quality. The quality, here, of the golden growth and unparalleled existence of precious plant, is in its very infrequency, and the way its rich, first-rate elements surpass and top any other beyond comparison.