Friday 24 August 2012

Loynton Moss

My best beloved spotted something in Nicholson's guide. Loynton Moss is a floating bog, it said. Conjured up the last scenes of Lorna Doone, but it seemed worth a visit. Fortified by the price of diesel at Norbury Junction, but needing a restorative after discovering just how big Erin Mae's diesel tank actually is, we set out to discover this wildlife wonder.

First attempts were discouraging. The path turned out to be just after Bridge 40, not Bridge 39 (the one with the telegraph pole), as stated in the guide. Having walked almost all the way to Bridge 40 and turned back, we eventually found an entrance to the reserve on the road above 39, which took us on a walk through the woods to 40, and thence down the track to the bog.

It was a fascinating place – a carefully managed project building on a natural resource to create a fabulous wildlife haven. Circular walks and educational boards make it accessible for all sorts of people. Only two things interfered with our enjoyment of the experience. The first was the general gloom of the day – it would have looked stunning in the sunshine. The second was the lack of insect repellent, combined with our habit of wearing shorts. The local mosquito army thought they'd gone to heaven. In the end we decided the long walk all the way round the perimeter could wait for another day while we went back to Erin Mae and warmed ourselves with some Staffordshire oatcakes.

I've been well impressed with what we've seen of the work of the Staffordshire Wildlife Trust. And I suppose the mosquitoes are glad of somewhere to live.


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