Work began at Pestfulong Moss in 2018 to restore the rare lowland raised bog habitat through rewetting and scrub and woodland management. The rewetting capital works have been successfully completed and the restoration process has provided an excellent way to engage local residents in the Carbon Landscape. This project is a great example of partnership working, with the Lancashire Wildlife Trust, Natural England, Woodland Trust, Warrington Borough Council, Friends of Gorse Covert Mounds (FoGCM) and Risley Moss Action Group (RiMAG) all involved. The habitat improvements provide the basis for future ecological sustainability and improved access will ensure sites are valued and appreciated.
73 volunteers have been involved in the project so far with the project delivering 11 out of 12 volunteer activity task days, including 7 practical management days and 4 training courses. Access for the wider community has been improved by creating 25 metres of track around the mossland and a further 11 metres of steps giving the general public safer passage down onto the mossland while protecting sensitive conservation areas. Volunteers have also been engaged in the project by taking part in Breeding Bird and Dragonfly survey ID training courses, which has resulted in 21 volunteer days being spent on delivering surveys and report writing. Furthermore, Friends of Gorse Covert Mounds have been fully invested in the Pestfurlong Moss project.
The site forms a significant ecological stepping stone between the larger Risley and Holcroft mosses that it sits between. Overall, 1.9 hectares of lowland raised bog has been restored through rewetting, scrub removal and planting. 30 plastic pile/peat dam structures have been constructed and 140m of plygene/peat bunds have been installed. Invasive species and approximately 1000m2 of scrub was removed. After initial re-wetting, 60 Common Cotton Grass plants and 60 plugs of Sphagnum Moss were planted to establish bog vegetation layer. An interpretation board on site will help to educate and inspire the public to protect Pestfurlong Moss by showcasing the site’s history and ecological importance.