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Fenn's, Whixall & Bettisfield Mosses NNR

Address : Natural England
Address : Manor House, Moss Lane
Town/City : Whixall
County : Shropshire
Country : England
Post code : SY13 2PD
Phone : 01948 880362
Web Site :  www.naturalengland.org.uk

Fenn's, Whixall and Bettisfield Mosses National Nature Reserve is a National Nature Reserve managed by Natural England and the Countryside Council for Wales, which straddles the border between England and Wales, near Whitchurch and Ellesmere in Shropshire, England. It comprises three peat bogs, Bettisfield Moss, Fenn's Moss and Whixall Moss. The Llangollen Canal runs near the southern edge of the reserve and the Ellesmere Canal joins it nearby.

Fenn's, Whixall and Bettisfield Mosses NNRThe reserve is part of the Midland Meres and Mosses Wetland of International Importance, declared under the Ramsar Convention in 1997. It is also a European Special Area of Conservation and a Wetland of International Importance for its important raised bog habitat.

The area is an extremely rare survivor  most Mosses in the UK have been drained for agriculture, forestry or to become commercial peat digging areas at some stage. Commercial peat mining ceased here in 1991 and Natural England and the Countryside Council for Wales have been restoring the NNR back to actively growing raised bog ever since .

Wildlife in the nature reserve includes 28 dragonfly and damselfly species such as the rare white-faced darter, waders such as curlew and lapwing, breeding wilfowl such as mallard, teal and shoveller, water voles and brown hare, birds of prey such as peregrine, short-eared owl, marsh and hen harrier and even the wonderfully acrobatic dragonfly-eating hobby. Bog plants include cotton sedges, bog mosses, cross-leaved heath, bog rosemary, cranberry and sundew, with birch and heather on drier areas and great hairy willowherb, gypsywort, water figwort, flag iris, alder trees and willow along the canal.

To get to the NNR, follow brown signs from the A495 south of Whitchurch to the Morris's Bridge car park, from where you can follow the 3 interlinking Mosses self-guided trails. Or come on one of the monthly events for details see www.naturalengland.org.uk  or twice monthly Fenn's Volunteer Group practical tasks -email peter.bowyer@naturalengland.org.uk.

Events 2011

All events (unless stated) must be booked in advance by contacting 01948 880362 or e-mail paul.huxley@naturalengland.org.uk  

Saturday 7 May  20th Anniversary Drop-in   10am – 3.30pm                                                                                                 
It’s the NNR’s and CCW’s 20th anniversary. To mark this event, we are inviting you to come to Whixall Social Centre to look at displays about the Reserve’s management plan and to discuss options about future management. Natural England and CCW staff will be there to listen to your views. Free refreshments and birthday cake. No need to book.

Sunday 8 May  Birds of the Mosses Walk   2pm
An afternoon walk on the Mosses with Pete Bowyer, Natural England, Estelle Hughes and Eric Marsh, volunteers for Natural England, to observe some of the bird species that thrive on the Mosses.  Meet at Manor House NNR Reserve Base, Whixall.
Due to popular demand there will be an additional Birds of the Mosses Walk on Monday 9 May at 2pm led by Pete Bowyer and Estelle Hughes.Sunday 15th May   Meres & Mosses Festival   10am – 4pm
Shropshire Wildlife Trust and Natural England have joined forces with Shropshire County Council, Shropshire Sailing Club and local conservation groups to celebrate the internationally important landscape of the Meres & Mosses at this family festival with fun activities, demonstrations, displays and information, local food and refreshments. Meet at The Mere, Ellesmere. For further info contact Lisa Barlow on 01743 284280 or email: lisab@shropshirewildlifetrust.org.uk No need to book.

Fenn's, Whixall and Bettisfield Mosses NNR

Sunday 22 May   Amphibian & Reptile Hunt   9am
An opportunity to discover the amazing world of amphibians and reptiles on the Mosses with Pete Bowyer, Natural England & Robert Bleakley. Search for them, see where they live and what they need to survive. Meet at Manor House Reserve Base, Whixall.Sunday 5 June   Marvellous Moths of the Mosses Walk   2pm 
An afternoon walk with Pete Boardman, to look for the Argent & Sable & other day-flying moths of the Mosses as part of Wales Biodiversity Week. Meet at Morris’ Bridge, Whixall Moss NNR car park. Saturday 11 June   Water Vole Workshop   2 - 4.15pm
Join  Malcolm Monie of the Whitchurch Water Vole Group to find out about the lifestyles of these increasingly rare creatures and learn how to look for signs of activity. Meet at Bettisfield Village Hall. Sunday 10 July   Dazzling Dragonflies & Damselflies Walk   2pm
Enjoy a walk around the Mosses with Emma Broad, Wrexham County Borough Council, and learn all about the wonderful world of these wetland creatures.  Meet at Manor House Reserve Base, Whixall. 

 All events are FREE unless otherwise stated

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