We would like to say that moss life is always good, but unfortunately the peaceful oasis of Chat Moss is sometimes hit by vandalism and theft.
In August 2016 the bird hide on Little Woolden was burnt down. This hide was the sheltered spot on the reserve for bird and wildlife watching. Over the last 2 years the polytunnel which has been used for growing sphagnum and currently provides the only shelter on site for volunteers and visitors has been repeatedly damaged, and wheel barrows used by the dedicated volunteers in their efforts to spread vegetation & sphagnum across Little Woolden have been stolen.
August 2017 saw the theft of one of the beautiful mosaic benches created by START for the Bog Hop trail, a fun, family activity created by LWT with funding from Tesco Bags of Help to engage young children with nature.
Gates and fencing have been stolen from around the reserve throughout the last year, and in October 2018 the remaining mosaic bench, the fox chainsaw statue, and the hare chainsaw statue – also part of the Bog Hop trail – were taken in the same night. These last pieces had recently been repaired and restored by Friends of Chat Moss volunteers.
The Friends of Chat Moss do not plan to replace these at the present time. We feel that the best way to beat this behaviour is to press on with the restoration works to create a wildlife haven that will be used more and more frequently by the public. Once there is a greater public presence on site, it will be safer to add the little extra touches.
In the mean time, if you see anything suspicious or witness any bad behaviour please do not approach but call 101 and make a report. It can be a frustrating wait on hold, but it really helps to have good records when the Trust meet with the police.
On a happier note, we will be at the Irlam and Cadishead Christmas Fair on December 1st to spread awareness of the importance of bogs, let people know what they have on their doorstep, and to fundraise. So if you fancy naming (and winning!) a knitted frog, tasting some delicious peat brownies or buying some Merry Christmoss cards, come and see us between 1pm and 6pm.