Warrington Plant Group Sphagnum day at Holcroft Moss

We had a successful trip to Holcroft Moss in October.  This is a raised bog near Warrington, which is one of the only remaining bogs in the local area never to have been cut for peat, so it’s very special.  It’s managed by Cheshire Wildlife Trust, who have had various surveys done over the years.

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The first bryophyte survey of the site for which we have records was in 1989.  Since then, eight species of Sphagnum have been recorded from the site, which is excellent for such a small site situated in the agricultural lowlands.  These are:

Sphagnum cuspidatum

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Sphagnum fimbriatum

I haven’t taken any photos of this, but it’s a lurid lime green plant superficially similar to Sphagnum fallax – see below- except if you pull off the “head” of the plant you will see a little ruff of upwards-pointing stem leaves, each one frilled at the edge.  Rather handsome.

Sphagnum papillosum

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Sphagnum fallax

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Sphagnum subnitens

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Sphagnum palustre

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Sphagnum capillifolium

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and finally

Sphagnum tenellum – an especially exciting one, this, as when it was recorded on the site in 1989 it was the first record in ages for south Lancashire!

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I’m very happy to say that we refound every one of these eight species during our trip to Holcroft Moss 😀

Fantastic to see the site doing so well, with more restoration work planned for the future.

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