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Risley Moss

OS Grid Ref:- SJ664920

Risley Moss is an area of peat bog situated near Birchwood in Warrington. The area is now a Site of Special Scientific Interest and a designated Local Nature Reserve with a Green Flag Award.

Risley MossRisley Moss

The moss covers an area of 210.5 acres (85.2 ha) and is one of the last remaining fragments of the raised bogs that once covered large areas of South Lancashire and North Cheshire. Natural depressions in the glacial drift left by the ice sheets which covered the Cheshire–Shropshire plain during the last ice age, 10,000–15,000 years ago, filled with water, forming the meres and mosses characteristic of the area today. In some cases, like Risley Moss, peat accumulation filled the depression, allowing colonisation by bog mosses such as the Sphagnum varieties, thus giving rise to the name "moss".

There are a number of pathways through the moss, winding through wooodland and meadows, which are suitable for prams and wheelchairs. The woodland comprises mainly of oak, ash and hazel. Fungi and many species of wildflower, including red campion and foxglove are abundant along the trail edge as well as in meadow areas that act as a haven for butterflies, bees and other insects.

Risley MossRisley Moss

The Observation Tower offers panoramic view of the mosslands at tree top height, As many as 60 species of breeding birds and 50 visiting species can be observed on the moss in a good year, from the Mossland Hide, the Woodland Hide or the Observation Tower including Kestrel, Buzzards, Sparrow Hawk, Hen Harrier, Harris Hawk, Short Eared Owl, Peregrine Falcon, Pheasant, Great Spotted Woodpecker, Nuthatch, Jay, Yellow Hammer, Green Finch, Bull Finch, Chaffinch, Long Tailed Tit, Blue Tit, Great Tit, Coal Tit, and Swallows.

Dotted close to the footpaths, around the Reserve are many wooden sculptures created by artists and local people including a huge wooden newt sculpture.


Exit the M62 motorway at junction 11 and follow the A574 for around a mile until reaching a roundabout. Turn left, go straight on at the next two roundabouts.

A walk at Risley Moss

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