Queens Award for Voluntary Service

Visit to Heysham Moss Nature Reserve

Reuben Neville about to release 2 Large heath butterflies
Reuben Neville about to release 2 Large heath butterflies

On Sunday morning a small group of Fairfield members visited the Wildlife Trust site at Heysham Moss. The forecast was for heavy showers – in fact we spent the mornng in the warm sunshine. We watched as Reuben Neville released 2 Large Heath butterflies, reared in captivity ( see photos) before exploring the reserve. The site (an SSI)has three habitats: meadow ( grazed by 3 of Bill Grayson’s Redpoll), woodland and raised peat bog.The peat bog is of special significance, 3 m deep it has taken 4 thousand years to form and is home to specialized plants which can thrive in the acidic nutrient – free environment. We saw the carniverous Round-leaved Sun-dew which digest insects, learned about the medicinal properties of the highly aromatic Bog Myrtle, and the war-time use of Sphagnum Moss as a dressing and spotted Bog Rosemary and Wild Cranberry amongst the pink flowered Cross-leaved Heath and Cotton Grass.
The bog was alive with dragon flies and damsel flies and the margins with bees – truly a wild and magical place.Large Heath Butterfly on Bog Myrtle