Moss Matters Vol. 1

As we enter 2019 it’s time to catch up on the progress of some of the projects the Friends of Chat Moss are supporting, there’s some exciting times ahead!

Swift Tower Campaign

Some of you may remember that the Friends ran a fundraising campaign with the aim of installing a swift tower on the moss to help this wonderful, but rapidly declining bird. After much thought and consideration it was decided that, due to a combination of peat’s characteristics (things tend to sink over time!) and the ongoing anti-social behaviour taking place, there was no way of safely installing a tower.

After consulting with nearby land owners we are pleased to be able to say that a neighbouring farm is happy to provide a home for at least one swift tower that will be appreciated by our Moss’s swifts. Bury and Bolton Swift Group are kindly providing support to get the tower in place.


Bird hide replacement

As many of you will be aware, despite the sign posts guiding you to a bird hide, there has not been a hide on Little Woolden since the arson attack a couple of years ago. While some very generous donations were received and other funding arranged, a decision was made by LWT and supported by FoCM to delay the installation of a new hide or screen until further works on the reserve have been completed, as this will change the optimum location for bird watching. Hopefully by this time any new hide will be less likely to be vandalised!


Large Heath Butterfly re-introduction

A long term goal across the Chat Moss reserves is to see the Manchester Argus (Large Heath Butterfly) in the skies again. This project is still in the very early stages, but later this year thousands of Hare’s Tail Cotton Grass (the caterpillar’s foodplant) and Cross Leaved Heath (the butterfly’s nectar source) will be planted across the sites to create suitable habitat for the eventual reintroduction. We’ll need plenty of help, so keep an eye out for planting days!


Tree Planting

We are running a tree planting event on Little Woolden Moss on Monday 18 February (in half term week). The aim of the project is to plant 1500 trees to form a shelter belt at the western end of the site. We have chosen a mix of tree species including rowan, hazel and hawthorn which should do well on the peat and will provide habitat and food supply for a nationally endangered bird and priority species, the willow tit.
We have received generous funding from SalfordCVS, Salford CCG, Hamilton Davies Trust and a large individual donation. The Woodland Trust are supplying the trees and contributing to the cost as part of their MOREwoods scheme.
All are welcome to help plant a tree or ten; young, older, individuals and groups. Please contact us at or our Facebook page for further details.


Thanks for reading this far! Now why not give your eyes a rest and listen to this fantastic BBC interview with our sphagnum suppliers, a great introduction to the world of moss: ‘The Hidden Power of Moss’

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