Walk 5 - Our Silent Eco-Hero: Sphagnum Moss
DATE: Friday 3 February 2023
START LOCATION: Shortheath Common Car Park, Oakhanger
POSTCODE: GU35 9JP
Sphagnum moss is found in peatlands and other wetland, acidic habitats across the UK, including our own locally-unique, lowland heathlands. Here they mix in with other specialist plants including cotton grasses, heathers, bog cranberry, & sundews. However, there is so much more to Sphagnum moss than meets the eye. In fact, it is a climate change challenging, flood fighting, biodiversity boosting superhero! From an ecological point of view it’s a bit of a wonder plant, that receives very little recognition for all it does. Perhaps by joining this walk you can pass on your thanks to this soft, squishy mass of goodness.
The Heathlands Reunited project brings together 12 organisations to help protect and enhance the Shortheath Common Special Area of Conservation (SAC) and the Wealden Heath Special Protection Area (SPA). These sites sit on the boundary of the South Downs National Park. The project’s aim is to protect the species found in the SPA (particularly the Dartford Warbler, European Nightjar and Woodlark) and to promote the heathland so that people look after it responsibly and sustainably. Heathlands are often popular areas for recreation activities such as running, horse-riding, cycling and dog walking. The project informs, engages and involves local communities to use their heathland in a responsible way and protect them for future generations.