Habitat account - Raised bogs and mires and fens


7110 Active raised bogs  * Priority feature

Background to selection

Distribution of SACs/SCIs/cSACs with habitat 7110 Active raised bogs.  Click image for enlarged map.
Distribution of SACs/SCIs/cSACs with habitat 7110 Active raised bogs. Click image for enlarged map.

Description and ecological characteristics

 

Active raised bogs are peat-forming ecosystems that have developed during thousands of years of peat accumulation, to such an extent that the depth of peat isolates them from the influence of groundwater. Typically, lowland raised bogs form a raised dome of peat irrigated solely by rainfall. Such rainwater-fed ecosystems are very acid and poor in plant nutrients and typically support a restricted range of species, some of which are otherwise abundant only in the cooler and wetter uplands of the UK. In line with the Interpretation manual of European habitats (European Commission DG Environment 1999), ‘active’ is defined as ‘supporting a significant area of vegetation that is normally peat-forming’. Such vegetation includes plants such as the bog-mosses Sphagnum spp., cottongrasses Eriophorum spp., heather Calluna vulgaris and other ericaceous plants, and the carnivorous sundews Drosera spp. Under some circumstances purple moor-grass Molinia caerulea is also peat-forming. Northern sites are richer in the reindeer-moss lichen Cladonia spp. Active bog vegetation is characteristic of intact (primary) bog surfaces, but peat-forming communities also occur frequently on bogs which have previously been cut for peat (secondary surfaces) but have since become revegetated.

 

Within the raised bog ecosystem the bog surface typically displays a distinctive microtopography, with patterns of hummocks and hollows rich in Sphagnum and other peat-forming species. Around bog pools there may sometimes be patches of 7150 Depressions on peat substrates of the Rhynchosporion. Classical descriptions of the ecosystem show raised bogs as having a discrete lens-shaped dome of peat with flat or imperceptibly sloping topography with a halo of fen vegetation in the zone where water draining the bog meets that from adjoining mineral soils. This is known as the lagg. A characteristic of the lagg zone is that normally it has more available plant nutrients, is more alkaline and hence shows greater species diversity, with a preponderance of sedge Carex spp. As a result of peat-digging and other activities, no example of raised bog that conforms exactly to this model is now known in Europe. Attention has been paid to ensure that sites with remnant lagg vegetation have been selected.

 

The principal NVC types found on Active raised bogs are:

 

     

  • M1  Sphagnum auriculatum bog pool community
  • M2  Sphagnum cuspidatum/recurvum bog pool community
  • M3  Eriophorum angustifolium bog pool community
  • M18  Erica tetralix – Sphagnum papillosum raised and blanket mire
  • M19  Calluna vulgaris – Eriophorum vaginatum blanket mire
  • M20  Eriophorum vaginatum blanket and raised mire.

 

However, this list is not exhaustive. M15 Scirpus cespitosus – Erica tetralix wet heath and M16 Erica tetralix – Sphagnum compactum wet heath are also found on raised bogs, but are typically found on shallower peats (<0.5 m depth) and are generally referable to Annex I type H4010 Northern Atlantic wet heaths with Erica tetralix.

European status and distribution

 

Raised bogs are found in every EU Member State, with the exception of Luxembourg. Countries known to hold significant concentrations of Active raised bogs include Finland, Sweden, the UK and Ireland.

UK status and distribution Click to view UK distribution of this habitat

 

Raised bogs are widespread but unevenly distributed in the UK. There are notable concentrations in several areas, including the Central Belt in Scotland, the Solway region on the England/Scotland border, north-west England and Northern Ireland.

 

The most comprehensive inventory of raised bogs in Great Britain is the Lowland Raised Bog Inventory (LRBI) (Lindsay & Immirzi 1996); this does not include Northern Ireland. Within GB, the LRBI lists 800 former and existing raised bogs, covering a total area of nearly 700,000 ha. However, all of these sites have been modified to some extent by human activity. The LRBI condition classes cannot be converted readily to Annex I categories, and so it is not easy to assess the total GB resource of Active raised bog. Peatland in Northern Ireland has been classified and mapped using air photographs (Cruickshank & Tomlinson 1988). This identified 2,270 ha of intact lowland peatland and 20,042 ha of ‘cut-over’ peatland, but it is not possible to report separately on the area of ‘active’ or ‘degraded’ raised bog using this information source.

Site selection rationale

 

Destruction of Active raised bogs in north-west Europe, combined with the relatively high proportion of the EU resource remaining in the UK, means that the UK has a special responsibility for the protection of sites supporting this priority habitat type. Consequently a high proportion of the total UK resource has been included in the SAC series.

 

Representation of lowland raised bog within the UK SAC series is achieved by selecting Active raised bogs where examples exist, and supplementing them with 7120 Degraded raised bogs still capable of natural regeneration where it is not possible to achieve sufficient representation by selecting Active raised bogs alone. Site selection has concentrated on the highest-quality examples of Active raised bog in terms of size and habitat structure and function, and has also sought to represent the geographical range of the habitat.

 

Parts of many lowland raised bogs have been damaged through peat extraction, afforestation, drainage and other activities. Consequently most lowland raised bogs contain a mixture of Active raised bog and Degraded raised bog. Sites which have been affected by peat extraction and other land uses have been included in the Active raised bog SAC series where they:

 

     

  1. have retained a high or significant proportion of actively-growing primary bog surface, or
  2. have significant areas where the peatland is regenerating on secondary cut-over surfaces.

 

The distribution of selected sites reflects the relative abundance of surviving raised bogs in certain parts of the UK, and in particular a concentration in the Central Belt of Scotland and either side of the Solway. In some cases changes in land use have resulted in fragmentation of formerly-continuous raised bog or wetland complexes. In these cases, and where sites are part of a geographical area united by its contemporary or former wetland characteristics, the fragments are cited as a single site.


Site accounts

Ballynahone Bog Northern Ireland
Ballynahone is one of the two largest intact Active raised bogs in Northern Ireland with hummock and hollow pool complexes. The peatland flora includes bog-rosemary Andromeda polifolia, at one of its few Northern Ireland sites, and the bog-mosses Sphagnum fuscum, S. imbricatum and S. pulchrum. Recently-constructed surface drains have been filled and the site is recovering.
Bankhead Moss, Beith South Western Scotland
Although small, Bankhead Moss in the central belt of Scotland has a largely intact structure, having suffered only marginal encroachment by domestic peat-cutting. The central dome is dominated by active bog vegetation, including occasional Sphagnum cuspidatum-filled hollows and S. magellanicum carpets. A secondary lagg fen has developed in abandoned areas of peat-cutting.
Black Bog Northern Ireland
One of the largest Active raised bogs in Northern Ireland, Black Bog is located in marginal upland and is somewhat intermediate in nature to 7130 Blanket bogs. Important features include a well-developed and extensive hummock and hollow complex and largely intact lagg. The oceanic liverwort Pleurozia purpurea and the bog-mosses Sphagnum fuscum and S. imbricatum occur.
Black Loch Moss Eastern Scotland, South Western Scotland
Black Loch Moss is one of the least-disturbed Active raised bogs remaining in the central belt of Scotland and consists of a large area of undamaged bog surface that is almost continuously dominated by bog-mosses, including Sphagnum papillosum and occasional S. magellanicum. The site is formed on a distinct slope and also has some characteristics of 7130 Blanket bogs.
Blawhorn Moss Eastern Scotland
Blawhorn Moss is one of the larger, least-disturbed Active raised bogs in the central belt of Scotland. The vegetation exhibits well-developed hummock and hollow topography and supports many of the species representative of bog, such as Sphagnum papillosum, S. magellanicum and cranberry Vaccinium oxycoccos. It is of further interest in that on one side it grades into 7130 Blanket bogs.
Braehead Moss South Western Scotland
This peat bog in the central belt of Scotland has complex origins in that it has arisen from peat developing in two separate basins, which have now fused. In the area where peat has merged, the vegetation has affinities to 7130 Blanket bogs. The upper and lower bogs are dominated by hummocks largely formed of Sphagnum spp., including S. fuscum and S. imbricatum, and are rich in heather Calluna vulgaris and cottongrasses Eriophorum spp. Soft S. cuspidatum hollows also occur.
Carsegowan Moss South Western Scotland
In common with other bogs around the Solway Firth, Carsegowan Moss has estuarine origins. It represents one of the largest surviving areas of relatively intact raised bog in south-west Scotland. Despite past drainage activity the site supports a typical range of bog communities and species, including cranberry Vaccinium oxycoccos and bog-rosemary Andromeda polifolia.
Coalburn Moss South Western Scotland
Coalburn Moss retains an extensive primary dome, although this is now confined by two abandoned railway lines. The site contains one of the larger tracts of vigorous bog-moss-dominated vegetation in the Central Belt of Scotland, with distinctive wet Sphagnum hollows. Typical bog-mosses include Sphagnum papillosum and S. magellanicum. Hare’s-tail cottongrass Eriophorum vaginatum, cranberry Vaccinium oxycoccos and reindeer-moss lichen Cladonia spp. are also common. The hollows, rich in S. cuspidatum, are occasionally fringed by great sundew Drosera anglica. Some of the margins of the site also support wetland communities.
Cockinhead Moss South Western Scotland
Cockinhead Moss in the Central Belt of Scotland is a small active raised bog supporting a vigorous growth of typical bog-mosses, including Sphagnum papillosum and S. magellanicum, as well as S. molle. The site is significant because part of the marginal lagg fen survives, supporting tall fen vegetation of sedges Carex spp. and rushes Juncus spp.
Cors Caron West Wales and The Valleys
This sequence of peat domes (also known as Tregaron Bog) developed on the floodplain of the Afon (River) Teifi in mid-Wales now represents the most intact surviving example in the UK of a raised bog landscape (macrotope). The three main extant domes are hydrologically isolated by the River Teifi and associated surface drainage features, and all three have suffered extensive damage as a consequence of past drainage and peat-cutting. The river terraces associated with the component bog mesotopes are regularly flooded and support vegetation that includes reed canary-grass Phalaris arundinacea, soft rush Juncus effusus, purple moor-grass Molinia caerulea and, more rarely, water sedge Carex aquatilis. Substantial areas of the surface of each of the three component bogs still retain good quality active raised bog vegetation mainly referable to NVC type M18 Sphagnum papillosumErica tetralix community, with frequent bog-rosemary Andromeda polifolia and white beak-sedge Rhynchospora alba and, more locally, the bog-mosses Sphagnum magellanicum and S. pulchrum. Extensive areas with a high cover of heather Calluna vulgaris and deergrass Trichophorum cespitosum are also present, while purple moor-grass M. caerulea is particularly prominent on the more modified bog margins. Although present as a important peat-former until as recently as the 18th century, Sphagnum imbricatum is absent from the contemporary bog flora.
Cors Fochno West Wales and The Valleys
Cors Fochno (also known as Borth Bog) lies on the south side of the Dyfi estuary in Wales and forms a component part of the Dyfi Biosphere Reserve. Although a substantial part of the former peatland complex has been taken for agriculture, the surviving core area supports the largest expanse of primary near-natural raised bog in an estuarine context within the UK. Extensive areas of patterned mire include occasional hummocks of the bog-mosses Sphagnum fuscum and, more rarely, S. imbricatum ssp. austinii, with hollows supporting S. pulchrum, greater sundew Drosera anglica, white beak-sedge Rhynchospora alba and bog-rosemary Andromeda polifolia. The extensive cover of bog-myrtle Myrica gale and maritime margins with black bog-rush Schoenus nigricans are distinctive features of this site in an England and Wales context. Areas of domestic peat-cutting peripheral to the dome are now actively regenerating and support a significant area of active bog vegetation; 7120 degraded raised bog also occurs widely around the periphery of the active core.
Cranley Moss South Western Scotland
Cranley Moss in the central belt of Scotland is important because it is a ‘classic’ raised bog, with a distinct and clearly defined active dome rising from a flat flood-plain long since converted to agricultural use. Much of the bog margin is intact, but although marshy ground surrounds parts of the site, most of the original lagg fen transition is thought to have been reclaimed. The bog has extensive Sphagnum carpets, which show vigorous growth throughout. Sphagnum imbricatum is found here.
Cranny Bogs Northern Ireland
Cranny Bogs is made up of three inter-drumlin, lowland raised bogs. They are typical of western bogs within the drumlin belt of Northern Ireland, being elongated and very irregular in shape. Generally, dome structure is poorly defined. The bogs vary considerably in their microtopography, with some displaying relatively well-developed hummock and lawn complexes. Shallow pools are scattered over the three bogs.

Notable species include the bog-mosses Sphagnum imbricatum, S. fuscum and S. pulchrum, with cranberry Vaccinium oxycoccos and the moss Pleurozia purpurea.
Craven Limestone Complex North Yorkshire
Malham Tarn Moss represents Active raised bogs in central northern England, in an area overlying limestone where wetlands are more typically base-rich fens. It displays a classic raised dome with transition from raised bog (base-poor) to base-rich conditions at the bog margin where it interfaces with land influenced by water from the limestone. It has an unusual mixture of bog-moss Sphagnum-rich and hair-grass Deschampsia-dominated vegetation.
Curran Bog Northern Ireland
Curran Bog occurs in the flood-plain of the Moyola River. Despite extensive turf-cutting around its edge, the remaining intact surface retains a high cover of Sphagnum bog-mosses (indicating active peat growth) and well-developed surface patterning (i.e. pool, hummock and hollow complexes).

The pool system is a particularly important feature, as these are generally very rare in Northern Irish lowland raised bogs. The pools vary in shape and size, but are generally linear with a carpet of aquatic Sphagnum bog-mosses, particularly S. cuspidatum, with lesser amounts of S. denticulatum and scattered bogbean Menyanthes trifoliata. Notable species include great sundew Drosera longifolia, S. pulchrum, S. imbricatum and S. fuscum.
Dead Island Bog Northern Ireland
Dead Island Bog is a lowland raised bog lying in a shallow inter-drumlin hollow within the Lower Bann valley. Special features include a large, intact core of deep peat, which exhibits a wide range of characteristic vegetation and structural features. These include shallow pools and a well-developed hummock and lawn complex. The bog surface supports a dense and diverse cover of Sphagnum bog-mosses. Notable species include Sphagnum imbricatum, forming several small, hummocks scattered over the surface, cranberry Vaccinium oxycoccos, and great sundew Drosera longifolia in several of the pools.
Deroran Bog Northern Ireland
Deroran Bog is typical of western bogs within the drumlin belt of Northern Ireland, being rather irregular in shape. The bog displays the classic convex domed profile typical of lowland raised bogs but has a relatively subdued microtopography with occasional small pools, and a few large hummocks. The surface, which supports a good Sphagnum moss cover, is characterised by low moss carpets interspersed with lawn and occasional shallow pools, with a large soakway in the centre. Notable species include the rare bog-mosses Sphagnum fuscum and S. imbricatum.
Dogden Moss Eastern Scotland
Dogden Moss lies in an upland, rather than the more typical lowland, setting and is one of the few raised bogs of significant extent in south-east Scotland. The vegetation reflects the relatively low rainfall of its eastern location, but nonetheless supports the scarce bog-moss Sphagnum imbricatum as well as more typical species such as cranberry Vaccinium oxycoccos.
Duddon Mosses Cumbria
This complex in north-west England is found in the plain of the Duddon estuary. In the southern part of the complex, where there are transitions from saltmarsh to bog, the vegetation is rich in the rare Sphagnum pulchrum. Further north a variety of raised bog conditions can be observed, from hand-cut and vigorously regenerating cuttings, to domes of uncut bog, which display significant areas of actively-growing bog vegetation.
Dun Moss and Forest of Alyth Mires Eastern Scotland
This site lies in the Grampian foothills and comprises a series of raised mires in the adjacent Forest of Alyth Mires and Dun Moss. The sites are remarkable not only for the retention of their poor-fen lagg zones but for the diversity and abundance of Sphagnum species, including the relatively scarce Sphagnum fuscum and S. imbricatum.
Dykeneuk Moss South Western Scotland
Dykeneuk Moss is a large site in the central belt of Scotland with a typical raised bog structure. Although the site has been modified in its northern parts by afforestation and drainage, it is recovering. The remainder of the site has extensive areas of Active raised bog vegetation with Sphagnum papillosum, S. magellanicum and cranberry Vaccinium oxycoccos.
Fairy Water Bogs Northern Ireland
This is a series of three relatively intact Active raised bogs set in a drumlin landscape in Northern Ireland. They are somewhat intermediate in character to 7130 Blanket bogs. Two of the component bogs have pool complexes. The oceanic liverwort Pleurozia purpurea and the bog-mosses Sphagnum fuscum and S. imbricatum occur.
Fenn`s, Whixall, Bettisfield, Wem and Cadney Mosses East Wales, Shropshire and Staffordshire
This is a large lowland raised bog that straddles the English/Welsh border. It is amongst the largest and most southerly raised bogs in the UK. Although much of the site has been subject to peat extraction, areas of partially-cut and uncut mire still remain. In areas formerly subject to commercial peat-cutting, recent conservation management has led to the regeneration of bog-forming vegetation. Mire vegetation includes Sphagnum papillosum, Sphagnum magellanicum, Sphagnum pulchrum, all three British species of sundew Drosera spp., cranberry Vaccinium oxycoccos, bog asphodel Narthecium ossifragum, royal fern Osmunda regalis, white beak-sedge Rhynchospora alba and bog-rosemary Andromeda polifolia, together with the nationally scarce moss Dicranum affine. Over 1,700 invertebrate species have been recorded here, including 29 nationally rare Red Data Book species.
Flanders Mosses Eastern Scotland
Flanders consists of a cluster of separate bogs in the central belt of Scotland that are the remnants of one of the largest active raised bog complexes in Britain. East Flanders Moss is the largest raised bog in the UK that is still in a predominantly near-natural state. Many of the typical bog-mosses, including Sphagnum papillosum and S. magellanicum, are found in abundance, together with local rarities such as S. fuscum, S. imbricatum and S. molle within a rich diversity of natural microtopographical features. The development of woodland on East Flanders is a recent phenomenon, but where the conditions are sufficiently wet, tree growth is very stunted and the branches are encrusted with rich assemblages of lichen. This may approach the natural conditions of tree growth on raised bog in this part of Scotland. Collymoon Moss previously formed part of a peatland continuum with East Flanders. The ground layer is rich in Sphagnum, but the striking feature of this part of the site is the high proportion of lichens such as reindeer-moss Cladonia spp. Killorn Moss and Shirgarton Moss form small satellites to East Flanders Moss, having once almost certainly been connected to it by fen peat, which has disappeared through agricultural use. These sites have a narrow fringe of woodland giving way to open mire communities, which, in both cases, support vigorous bog-moss vegetation and typical features of raised bog; they are therefore seen as an integral part of the site.
Ford Moss Northumberland and Tyne and Wear
Ford Moss is a largely intact 46 ha bog in undulating topography in the rain-shadow of the Cheviot Hills. Although partially drained, the re-wetted surface contains many waterlogged areas with species typical of peat-formation. Thus, although there are drier purple moor-grass Molinia caerulea-dominated parts, it is considered to be predominantly active raised bog. There is a 12 m depth of peat within the confining basin. The vegetation includes species of raised bog as well as poor-fen, which is also indicated in places by the presence of white sedge Carex curta where water runs into the bog from the surrounding slopes.
Garry Bog Northern Ireland
Garry Bog in Northern Ireland is a large active raised bog with an exceptionally extensive and well-developed pool complex and partially intact lagg. Sphagnum fuscum and S. imbricatum occur on the site and S. pulchrum is found in abundance in the pool system.
Main Valley Bogs Northern Ireland
The Main Valley Bogs include three active raised bogs that occur as part of a complex along the valley of the River Main in the north-east of Northern Ireland. Although pool development on each of the component bogs is limited, they all display the classic dome formation with hummocks and hollows. The hummock-forming bog-mosses Sphagnum fuscum and S. imbricatum occur on each of the bogs and the nationally rare S. pulchrum is abundant in places. One of the most important features of the central bog is the unbroken bog-to-lagg transition, which is the most extensive and least-disturbed in Northern Ireland.
Methven Moss Eastern Scotland
Methven Moss lies outwith the main raised bog zones in Scotland and forms an important ecological link between the numerous small sites of the Central Belt and the scattered, drier sites of the Grampian Plain. Although the site has been damaged by past drainage activity it retains a significant area of intact surface and continues to support typical bog vegetation and species. The bog-mosses Sphagnum magellanicum and S. papillosum co-dominate in many areas together with heather Calluna vulgaris, cross-leaved heath Erica tetralix and hare’s-tail cottongrass Eriophorum vaginatum. S. cuspidatum pools are scattered throughout the site.
Moine Mhor Highlands and Islands
This extensive raised bog was subjected to considerable damage and peat extraction in the past, but nevertheless a substantial part of it, particularly in the northern section, supports active bog habitat and there is evidence of continuing regeneration of the habitat. The bog is very close to sea level and has maritime affinities, grading into saltmarsh. It is the most extensive westerly raised bog in Scotland. The bog-moss Sphagnum magellanicum is abundant around the highest part of the bog and cranberry Vaccinium oxycoccos is also common.
Moneygal Bog Northern Ireland
Moneygal Bog is one of the most westerly active raised bogs in Northern Ireland. The site is a large one, with a well-developed dome and one the finest hummock and pool complexes in Northern Ireland. The pools are arranged concentrically around the site of an old bog-burst. The peatland flora is dominated by active bog vegetation with a high cover of bog-mosses, including the hummock-forming species Sphagnum imbricatum and S. fuscum.
Moninea Bog Northern Ireland
Moninea Bog is one of the best remaining examples of an active raised bog within the drumlin landscape that occurs across the southern counties of Northern Ireland. The peatland flora typically supports a high cover of bog-mosses, including the hummock-forming species Sphagnum imbricatum and S. fuscum and the nationally rare S. pulchrum. All three native British sundew species, Drosera rotundifolia, D. anglica and D. intermedia, are also present.
North Shotts Moss South Western Scotland
Two now separate but previously linked bogs form this site in the central belt of Scotland. Hassockrigg Moss supports areas of pronounced surface patterning with extensive Sphagnum carpets, including locally frequent S. magellanicum. Cranberry Vaccinium oxycoccos occurs occasionally. A small area of lagg fen lies around the edge of the bog. The adjacent North Shotts Moss supports a high diversity of Sphagnum species with further areas of ridge and hollow patterning on the mire expanse and lagg fen occurring at the margins.
Peeswit Moss Eastern Scotland
Habitat occurrence account not yet available.
Raeburn Flow South Western Scotland
Habitat occurrence account not yet available.
Red Moss South Western Scotland
Red Moss is a small site in the central belt of Scotland comprising three areas of active raised bog together with associated lagg fen communities. The slightly domed areas of mire support typical raised bog vegetation with a good cover of Sphagnum including frequent S. imbricatum hummocks and occasional S. fuscum. Cranberry Vaccinium oxycoccos also occurs.
Red Moss of Netherley North Eastern Scotland
Red Moss of Netherley is one of the best remaining examples of bogs in the Aberdeen area, and one of the largest remaining raised bogs in north-east Scotland. Although damaged in the past, the hydrological function of the site is largely intact and active mire regeneration is taking place adjacent to the central area. Major peat-building bog-mosses are present in these areas, including Sphagnum papillosum and S. magellanicum. A number of pools occur across the site, supporting species such as S. cuspidatum, bottle sedge Carex rostrata and marsh cinquefoil Potentilla palustris.
Reidside Moss North Eastern Scotland
Reidside Moss in north-east Scotland is relatively intact compared to most sites in the Grampian plain and supports typical vegetation of the north-east bogs, rich in heather Calluna vulgaris and cottongrasses Eriophorum spp. The moss has luxuriant cushions of the bog-moss Sphagnum capillifolium, and S. magellanicum also occurs. Bog-myrtle Myrica gale and cross-leaved heath Erica tetralix are frequent, and great sundew Drosera anglica also occurs. Although peat-cuttings occur, they are regenerating, with abundant cottongrasses Eriophorum spp. and typical fen communities.
Rhos Goch East Wales
Rhos Goch consists of a sequence of mire communities developed within a flat valley floor which crosses the interfluve between the Rivers Wye and Arrow. The site lies at an altitude of 257 m and is one of the most southerly raised bogs in the UK. The raised bog interest occupies the north-eastern part of the system and grades to the south-west into an extensive suite of poor-fen and swamp communities (7140 Transition mires and quaking bogs); wet carr woodland (comprising downy birch Betula pubescens, grey willow Salix cinerea and alder Alnus glutinosa) at varying stages of development occupies the relatively intact lagg zone at this site to the north, south and east. The raised bog surface has been much affected by scrub encroachment (now intensively managed) and the past influences of peat-cutting and fire. Drier areas dominated by heather Calluna vulgaris, cross-leaved heath Erica tetralix, purple moor-grass Molinia caerulea and a range of hypnoid mosses display a relatively impoverished range and cover of bog-mosses Sphagnum spp., although both common cottongrass Eriophorum angustifolium and hare’s-tail cottongrass E. vaginatum are prominent. Numerous hollows and bog pools occur across the surface of the mire, and at least some bear evidence of artificial deepening. These support a flora dominated by carpets of the bog-mosses Sphagnum cuspidatum and S. recurvum, together with bogbean Menyanthes trifoliata, marsh cinquefoil Potentilla palustris, bog pondweed Potamogeton polygonifolius and occasional royal fern Osmunda regalis.
Roudsea Wood and Mosses Cumbria
Roudsea consists of a complex of raised bogs on the northern shore of Morecambe Bay in north-west England. Although the majority of the complex has undergone extensive drainage in the past, with domestic peat-cutting around the margins, drainage was abandoned many years ago and much of the area has recovered to a considerable degree. Less than 20% of the site is classified as 7120 degraded raised bog. Within the site there are transitions between acid bog and limestone woodland, with a number of scarce plant species including the rare large yellow-sedge Carex flava.
Shelforkie Moss Eastern Scotland
Lying to the north of the Forth Valley sites, Shelforkie represents an area in which raised bogs have never been widespread but which is an important link in the range of the habitat. The site itself is relatively extensive and although now affected by past drainage, continues to support typical bog communities. The bog-moss Sphagnum magellanicum is frequent, and occasionally abundant, over much of the site. S. cuspidatum pools occur scattered across the bog.
Solway Mosses North South Western Scotland
Solway Mosses North has two components, Longbridge Muir and Kirkconnel Flow. Longbridge Muir is an extensive raised bog and one of the few remaining unafforested examples in this area. The site contains a large area of active mire with good quality peat-forming vegetation. Extensive surface patterning is present. Longbridge Muir includes areas which have been drained and afforested but which form an integral part of the overall peat mass. Work is in progress to restore this area, supported by an EC LIFE project. Kirkconnel Flow is low-altitude estuarine moss, around one-third of which consists of active raised bog, but the majority of the site has been invaded by tree and scrub cover. Nevertheless, extensive areas of good quality active bog remain, and this will be enhanced by work currently in progress to restore the degraded component, also supported by EC LIFE funds.
South Solway Mosses Cumbria
This is a complex of estuarine raised bogs to the south of the Solway, and is comprised of Wedholme Flow, Bowness Common, Drumburgh Moss and Glasson Moss. At 759 ha, Bowness Common is one of the largest Active raised bogs remaining in the UK. Although affected by past drainage and peat-cutting, much of these sites support typical bog vegetation, including bog rosemary Andromeda polifolia, cranberry Vaccinium oxycoccos and great sundew Drosera anglica. Wedholme Flow contains the largest area of almost-intact active raised bog in England, but also some 7120 degraded raised bog in which peat-cutting has recently ceased. The central part of Glasson Moss displays some of the most diverse raised bog vegetation in the UK today, with bog-moss species including abundant Sphagnum pulchrum as well as S. fuscum.
Threepwood Moss Eastern Scotland
This site is one of the few good quality examples remaining in this part of the Scottish Borders, with just under half of the site comprising active bog. As a result of a management arrangement to remove scrub, restore the hydrology and control grazing, it is expected that the remainder of the bog will be restored to full active status in due course. Much of the site is dominated by heather Calluna vulgaris together with the bog-moss Sphagnum capillifolium and hare’s-tail cottongrass Eriophorum vaginatum. Low ridges of S. papillosum, S. magellanicum and cross-leaved heath Erica tetralix are common and occasionally also support cranberry Vaccinium oxycoccos.
Tonnagh Beg Bog Northern Ireland
Tonnagh Beg Bog is among the best remaining examples of a lowland raised bog in the west of Northern Ireland. Typical of western bogs, the site is rather irregular in shape, with deep peat encircling a small drumlin of grassland on mineral soil. The uncut surface has a well-developed microtopography, consisting of a pool complex interspersed by well-formed hummocks, wet lawns and a soakway. Despite some burning in the past, the surface has an extremely high Sphagnum moss cover and a notable Sphagnum moss hummock development.

The bog supports a very high frequency of the rare mosses Sphagnum imbricatum and S. fuscum, which form well-developed hummocks over the wet surface. Cranberry Vaccinium oxycoccos is locally frequent, growing over the surface of the highest hummocks.
Tully Bog Northern Ireland
Tully Bog is an isolated lowland raised bog lying in a shallow hollow within the former flood-plain of the Fairy Water River. The central intact dome is fairly well developed and supports a small pool system with a good hummock and hollow development on the bog plain. The centre of the bog has a small raised drumlin, with birch woodland growing on it. The rare bog-mosses Sphagnum imbricatum and S. fuscum are present.
Turclossie Moss North Eastern Scotland
Turclossie Moss in the Grampian plain of Scotland represents the western end of a once much larger site that had many characteristics of 7130 Blanket bogs. The site still contains a significant area of active raised bog with a continuous active surface, and Sphagnum magellanicum occurs frequently in the wetter areas.
Walton Moss Cumbria
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.

Waukenwae Moss South Western Scotland
Waukenwae Moss in the central belt of Scotland has extensive areas of active raised bog. It displays some of the best Sphagnum-hollow patterning to be found in bogs in this part of Scotland and also has several hummocks of Sphagnum imbricatum. The bulk of the site is relatively intact, having suffered little from marginal domestic peat-cutting.
Witherslack Mosses Cumbria
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.
Wolf Island Bog Northern Ireland
Wolf Island Bog represents one of the largest areas of intact active raised bog in Northern Ireland. The site displays a well-defined dome and characteristic vegetation and structural features, including pool, hummock and lawn complexes. Bog-mosses are well-represented, including the hummock-forming species Sphagnum imbricatum and S. fuscum.

SACs/SCIs/cSACs where this Annex I habitat is a qualifying feature, but not a primary reason for site selection

Afon Eden - Cors Goch Trawsfynydd West Wales and The Valleys
Afonydd Cleddau/ Cleddau Rivers West Wales and The Valleys
Cernydd Carmel West Wales and The Valleys
Peatlands Park Northern Ireland
 

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