Skip to Content

Special Areas of Conservation

Witherslack Mosses

Designated Special Area of Conservation (SAC)
Country England
Unitary Authority Cumbria
Centroid* SD457826
Latitude 54.23583333
Longitude -2.833055556
SAC EU Code UK0030302
Status Designated Special Area of Conservation (SAC)
Area (ha) 486.71
* 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 Witherslack Mosses SAC

General site character

  • Bogs, Marshes, Water fringed vegetation, Fens (91%)
  • Improved grassland (5%)
  • Broad-leaved deciduous woodland (4%)

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

    Meathop Moss, Nichols Moss and Foulshaw Moss are remnants of a formerly interconnected peat body on the west side of the Kent estuary, on its coastal plain. All retain some of the original dome structure, though each has been at least in part degraded by peat-cutting around the edges and by commercial forestry on Foulshaw Moss. Although restricted in area on Foulshaw Moss, each site contains good examples of NVC type M18a Erica tetralixSphagnum papillosum raised and blanket mire, Sphagnum magellanicumAndromeda polifolia sub-community. Most of Foulshaw Moss is classified as 7120 degraded raised bog.

  • Meathop Moss, Nichols Moss and Foulshaw Moss are remnants of a formerly interconnected peat body on the west side of the Kent estuary, on its coastal plain. All retain some of the original dome structure, though each has been at least in part degraded by peat-cutting around the edges and by commercial forestry on Foulshaw Moss. Degraded raised bog predominates on Foulshaw Moss and is present around the edges on the other two, but each site contains good examples of 7110 Active raised bogs as NVC type M18a Erica tetralixSphagnum papillosum raised and blanket mire, Sphagnum magellanicumAndromeda polifolia sub-community. The forestry plantations are now being removed from Foulshaw Moss.

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.