Campfield Marsh Reserve (Bowness Common)
Campfield Marsh Reserve is made up of a mosaic of saltmarsh, peatbogs, farmland and wet grassland providing homes for a great variety of native wildlife.
Bowness Common is the largest raised mire remaining in England. It has developed on boulder clay and was originally part of a more extensive peatland system, which included nearby Glasson Moss and Whitrigg Common.
Areas of Bowness Common still support active bog growth, with Sphagnum species dominating (in particular S. magellanicum). Other areas have been impacted by peat cutting, drainage and burning, where wet heath vegetation predominantly grows. In these areas however, there is still a good depth of peat.
The drier parts of the Common, and in particular around the edges, birch, lichens and purple moor-grass (Molinia caerulea) dominate.
The peat bog, or raised mire, supports breeding curlews and snipe, as well as dragonflies and large heath butterflies. RSPB is managing this habitat by maintaining high water levels and regulating the vegetation balance. They also aim to extend the adjoining wet woodland to benefit birds such as willow tits. In the longer term, they hope to expand the bog onto adjacent farmland.
Project Name: Campfield Marsh Reserve (Bowness Common)
Organisation / Lead partner: RSPB
Location: Wigton, Cumbria
Approximate area covered: 759 ha
Conservation Status: Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), Special Area of Conservation (SAC), Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB)
Peat Habitats: Lowland raised bog
Project Type: Management, Citizen science/ community engagement.