Skip to Content

Special Areas of Conservation

Walton Moss

Designated Special Area of Conservation (SAC)
Country England
Unitary Authority Cumbria
Centroid* NY504665
Latitude 54.99055556
Longitude -2.775
SAC EU Code UK0030093
Status Designated Special Area of Conservation (SAC)
Area (ha) 286.74
* This is the approximate central point of the SAC. In the case of large, linear or composite sites, this may not represent the location where a feature occurs within the SAC.
Location of Walton Moss SAC

General site character

  • Bogs, Marshes, Water fringed vegetation, Fens (99%)
  • Humid grassland, Mesophile grassland (1%)

Download the Natura 2000 standard data form for this site as submitted to Europe (PDF <100kb)

Note When undertaking an appropriate assessment of impacts at a site, all features of European importance (both primary and non-primary) need to be considered.

Annex I habitats that are a primary reason for selection of this site

  • 7110 Active raised bogs  * Priority feature

    A largely intact raised bog of roughly rectangular shape, with an arm of mossland protruding westwards from the south-west corner. The peat spills over from the main basin, forming blanket mire, and as such it is classified as an intermediate bog. Some peat-cutting has taken place in the south-east and south-west of the moss, lowering the surface by about 1.5 m. Most of the mire expanse remains very wet and drainage is restricted to the edges.

    Sphagnum bog with lawns, hollows and mounds is present across the central mire expanse, which occupies most of the site. Bog-moss species present include Sphagnum magellanicum, S. capillifolium, S. papillosum and S. tenellum as hummocks; S. cuspidatum and S. recurvum in hollows. Higher plant species include bog-rosemary Andromeda polifolia, cranberry Vaccinium oxycoccos, round-leaved sundew Drosera rotundifolia and white beak-sedge Rhynchospora alba; heather Calluna vulgaris and cross-leaved heath Erica tetralix are locally abundant; birch Betula spp. is occasional.

  • A largely intact raised bog of roughly rectangular shape, with an arm of mossland protruding westwards from the south-west corner. The peat spills over from the main basin forming blanket mire, and as such it is classified as an intermediate bog. Some peat-cutting has taken place in the south-east and south-west of the moss, lowering the surface by about 1.5 m, and it is here that the bog is degraded. This predominantly active bog is surrounded by rough pasture, and there may be up to 149 ha of archaic peatland surrounding the site on thin blanket peat.

    The degraded areas tend to be dominated by purple moor-grass Molinia caerulea with common cottongrass Eriophorum angustifolium and the bog-moss Sphagnum cuspidatum colonising pools. In drier areas a bog heath community is present with moribund heather Calluna vulgaris dominating. Small areas of birch-dominated woodland or scrub are present around the margins of the site. Rush pasture is also present on the margins, with species such as the rushes Juncus effusus, J. conglomeratus, J. acutiflorus, J. squarrosus and M. caerulea.

Annex I habitats present as a qualifying feature, but not a primary reason for selection of this site

  • Not Applicable

Annex II species that are a primary reason for selection of this site

  • Not Applicable

Annex II species present as a qualifying feature, but not a primary reason for site selection

  • Not Applicable

Many designated sites are on private land: the listing of a site in these pages does not imply any right of public access.