Save Danes Moss

Biodiversity Update July 2023: Newly found protected species and continuing recording of protected species including Otter
Burnet Companion Moth on Danes Moss

In continuing to build our knowledge on the protected species we have found on Danes Moss we have compiled a new update to July 2023. It has been another great year for recording and there have already been a number of amazing highlights. The Dingy Skipper colony is much larger than we first thought and covers ground within the proposed development area, it was not difficult to find counts of 20 plus individuals on the wing at any visit during the peak time the adults fly. This makes it one of only a handful of sites in the whole of Cheshire where they can be found and probably the key site for them in Cheshire East.

Otter Scat
It may not look much but this is otter Poo, also known as spraint

In amazing new news we have also found evidence of Otter within metres of the proposed development area and it is very likely they will be using Danes Moss to lay up in the daytime. As well as sightings of Roe Deer and finding evidence of protected Badger and Hedgehog, plus 10 bat species we now know the Moss is a mammal hotspot. The vole and shrew populations that exist on-site help support species such as Kestrel, Barn Owl and Tawny Owl.

Panorpa cognata
Panorpa cognata
Pellucid Hoverfly
Pellicid Hoverfly
Common Whitethroat
Common Whitethroat

Biodiversity loss and climate change are linked and with the UK being one of the most nature depleted countries in the world it is vitally important that Cheshire East plays its part in protecting this internationally important wetland habitat.

Chimney Sweeper Moth
Chimney Sweeper Moth
Lunar Hornet Moth
Lunar Hornet Moth
Orange Spotted plant Bug
Orange-Spotted Plant Bug

In summary, a total of 103 species with protections have now been found across Danes Moss within both the area of proposed development and outside of the proposed development area, 62 of these have been recorded within the area of proposed development and 79 have been recorded outside of the proposed development area.

These are now over 8000 records of over 1000 species.

(Species illustrated in the headline image is a Burnet Companion Moth)

Notable observations and County First Records

  • Banded General soldier fly (Stratiomys potamida): only a handful of records in Cheshire in the last 50 years, now recorded in 2022 and 2023
  • Diplodoma laichartingella moth: 16 previous county records, the last from 30 years ago
  • Caryocolum viscariella moth: only a single previous county record
  • Broad-banded Hopper Wasp (Gorytes laticinctus): UK Redlist status of Rare RDB3
  • Pale Birch Case-Bearer Moth (Coleophora viminetella): nationally scarce
  • Acetropis gimmerthalii Bug: first county record in 2022
  • Scarce Bagworm moth (Bankesia conspurcatella): prospective redbook species and county first record in 2022
  • Devon Carpet Moth (Lampropteryx otregiata): Locally rare and scarce
  • Bordered Straw (Heliothis peltigera): Locally rare and scarce
  • Maple Pug Moth (Eupithecia inturbata): Locally rare and scarce
  • Lunar Hornet moth (Sesia bembeciformis): Locally rare and scarce
  • Gold Swift Moth (Phymatopus hecta): Locally rare and scarce
  • Bulrush Veneer Moth (Calamotropha paludella): Rare and scarce species

Redlist Plants
Among the varied plants that grow across the whole of Danes Moss, the following are highlighted as redlist species that threatened within the UK:

  • Tormentil (Potentilla erecta) Near-threatened
    White Beak-sedge (Rhynchospora alba) Near-threatened
  • Wild Strawberry (Fragaria vesca) Near-threatened
  • Wood-sorrel (Oxalis acetosella) Near-threatened
  • Heather (Calluna vulgaris) Near-threatened
    Cross-leaved heath (Erica tetralix) Near-threatened
  • Bog-myrtle (Myrica gale) Near-threatened
  • Common Valerian (Valeriana officinalis) Near-threatened
  • Lesser Spearwort (Ranunculus flammula) Vulnerable

Four species of Sphagnum Moss were recorded within the SSSI in 2022 which are subject to the Habitats Directive.

Additional Notes
Dingy Skipper butterfly (Erynnis tages): as well as being section 41 listed, is also on the IUCN listing as vulnerable to extinction within the UK..

Dark Green Fritillary butterfly (Speyeria aglaja): annual rarity in the east of the county, now the 24th species of butterfly recorded across all of Danes Moss out of 27 breeding species across the whole of Cheshire

To provide another illustration of the biodiversity contained within the site, in a single evening recording moths on 28/07/2022 a total of 159 species were recorded.

A listing of all protected species found so far can be found on the Cheshire East Planning Portal for all 10 of the reserved matters applications. Please see our planning details page for links to the planning portal for each of the 10 reserved matters applications.


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