Wedholme Flow is the subject of one of the biggest restoration projects in the Solway Coast Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty and it’s a fascinating place for a visit.
It is one of the three sites which form the South Solway Mosses National Nature Reserve, alongside Glasson Moss and Bowness Common.
Wedholme is the second largest of the Solway Mosses and the most damaged by peat extraction – for hundreds of years people have taken away this natural resource.
The monks from Holme Cultram Abbey used peat for fuel, but it was the industrial-scale peat milling in the last century which has caused the most significant damage.
This bog was ‘milled’ until 2005, a process involving draining and removing large amounts of peat to be sold as bedding plant compost. However, since 2007, Natural England has been working to restore this European-designated Special Area of Conservation.
Natural England now owns 70% of Wedholme Flow and the organisation is working with other landowners to implement the restoration scheme.
And there is good news – the project is working well. There are waymarked trails from the car park on the eastern side of the bog and, from these, you can see undamaged areas, as well as the parts which are already recovering.
The flora and fauna here has a mix of strange colours, weird plants and rare insects. See if you can spot the bright red sundew plant, which has sticky leaf pads to catch and eat insects. Or you may find oddly shaped lichens, such as the cup lichen and the red tipped matchstick lichen which look like they are straight from the pages of a fairy tale.
Follow the B5307 from Abbeytown or Carlisle. Access to Wedholme Flow is from a car park just off the Wigton to Kirkbride road – look out for the nature reserve sign.
- Free parking
- Information boards
- Network of waymarked trails
- Picnic area
Did you know…?
You can spot adders here in the summer as they bask in the sunshine along the paths. Please keep an eye on young visitors and keep your dogs on leads.
A sea of white cottongrass in summer when this specialist bog plant produces its fluffy seeds.