Darwen Moor South
Higher Pasture House and Cadshaw Farms
The area lies within the West Pennine Moors at the southern end of Darwen Moors, including Wildings Moor, to the immediate north of Cadshaw Valley. It comprises Blanket bog with numerous drains (grips) and several deep eroding gullies. The artificial dryness of the habitat creates vulnerability from damaging wildfires and is detrimental to biodiversity and locked-up carbon. Peat depths range from 2 metres to over 3 metres.
Despite the drainage and past fires the vegetation remains resilient with Heather, Cross-leaved Heath, Whinberry, Cranberry and Crowberry as dwarf shrubs, with both Hare’s-tail and Common Cottongrass, Purple Moor-grass and seven species of Bog-moss. In terms of the South Pennines the vegetation ranks amongst the highest quality.
Funding from Scout Moor HEF was granted to complement the Natural England High Level Stewardship and United Utilities SCaMP 2, by aiding capital works to re-profile and block the grips with the aim of restoring the peat hydrology.
This will have the benefit of improving water quality, securing the carbon deposits and enhancing biodiversity. Works were undertaken in 2011 with over 20km of grips blocked within the area.
It is anticipated that the re-wetting work will favour the spread of Cross-leaved Heath, Cranberry and certain species of Bog-moss important in peat formation, principally Papillose Bog-moss, Red Bog-moss and Lustrous Bog-moss.