Save Danes Moss

Biodiversity update July 2022: highlighting all protected species found so far across Danes Moss
Burnished Brass Moth

In August we compiled a new update of the protected species found at Danes Moss. In the rECOrd biological recording database there are now over 5000 recent records of wildlife seen within the area at risk of development and across the whole of Danes Moss. 

To summarise, a total of 83 species with protections have been found across Danes Moss within both the area of proposed development and outside of the proposed development area, 48 of these have been recorded within the area of proposed development and 69 have been recorded outside of the proposed development area.

(The moth pictured above is a particularly stunning Burnished Brass Moth)

Shore Sexton Beetle
Shore Sexton Beetle
Sallow Kitten Moth
Sallow Kitten Moth
Scalloped Hook Tip Moth
Scalloped Hook Tip Moth

The biodiversity within the site is amazing. As an example, in a single evening recording moths on 28/07/2022 a total of 159 species of moths were recorded including many rarities and additional protected species not found previously.

Notable observations include:

Banded General soldier fly (Stratiomys potamida): only a handful of records in Cheshire in the last 50 years

Caryocolum viscariella moth: only a single previous county record

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. Sightings of this species have been recorded on the boundary of the proposed development area as well as within it.

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.

Diplodoma laichartingella moth: 16 previous county records, the last from 30 years ago.

All wildlife observations recorded within our Bioblitz can be found on the bioblitz project here.

Water Boatman Sigara
Water Boatmen (Sigara)
Iron Prominent Moth
Iron Prominent Moth
Red Spotted Parasite Fly
Red Spotted Parasite Fly
Barn Owls

Barn Owl have used the nest box within the reserve for a number of years. This is approximately 900 metres from the boundary of the proposed development site.
The Barn Owl Trust states the following:

‘Research funded by Barn Owl Trust and carried out at the University of York has produced the best estimates of the quantity of rough grass habitat required by Barn Owls in different UK landscape types.
Depending on the type of land, Barn Owls need between 14 and 47 hectares of rough grassland within 2km of suitable nesting and roosting sites.’

Therefore the development area will form a substantially important area of local territory beyond a simple territory percentage (as used in the environmental survey in the outline planning documentation), especially based on its lack of agricultural interference on prey species. In addition another substantial area of territory to the east is to be destroyed within 600 metres at the Gaw End Lane site and to the north beyond the proposed development area it is urban and not suitable habitat that would be part of the territory. Hunting barn owls were recorded on both bat surveys on the proposed development area and on the Gaw End Lane site but were simply dismissed as not important to the proposed developments.

Protected Species

Below is a table of all 83 protected species found detailing their protections.


  • NERC – Section 41 Species of Principal Importance, Natural Environment and Rural Communities (NERC) Act 2006
  • LBAP – Local (Cheshire) Biodiversity Action Plan
  • WCS – Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981
  • Redlist – IUCN listed species within the UK that are of conservation concern
  • EPS – European Protected Species


‘Onsite’ indicates the species found within the proposed development area of Danes Moss.

Brown hare (Lepus europaeus)NERC,
Common lizard (Zootoca vivipara)NERC,
Common toad (Bufo bufo)yesNERC,
Skylark (Alauda arvensis)NERC,
Lesser redpoll (Carduelis cabaret)NERC,
Common linnet (Carduelis cannabina)NERC,
Common cuckoo (Cuculus canorus)NERC,
Reed bunting (Emberiza schoeniclus)yesNERC,
Herring gull (Larus argentatus)yesNERC,
Common grasshopper warbler (Locustella naevia)yesNERC,
Yellow wagtail (Motacilla flava)NERC,
Spotted flycatcher (Muscicapa striata)NERC,
Eurasian curlew (Numenius arquata)NERC,
House sparrow (Passer domesticus)yesNERC,
Eurasian tree sparrow (Passer montanus)NERC,
Willow tit (Poecile montanus)yesNERC,
Hedge accentor (Prunella modularis)yesNERC,
Common bullfinch (Pyrrhula pyrrhula)yesNERC,
Common starling (Sturnus vulgaris)yesNERC,
Song thrush (Turdus philomelos)yesNERC,
Northern lapwing (Vanellus vanellus)yesNERC,
Small heath (Coenonympha pamphilus)yesNERC,
Dingy skipper (Erynnis tages)yesNERC,
Knot grass (Acronicta rumicis)yesNERC
Dusky brocade (Apamea remissa)yesNERC
Latticed heath (Chiasmia clathrata)yesNERC
Small square-spot (Diarsia rubi)yesNERC
Shoulder-striped wainscot (Mythimna comma)yesNERC
Grass rivulet (Perizoma albulata)yesNERC
Shaded broad-bar (Scotopteryx chenopodiata)yesNERC
White ermine (Spilosoma lubricipeda)yesNERC
Buff ermine (Spilosoma luteum)yesNERC
Blood vein (Timandra comae)yesNERC
Cinnabar (Tyria jacobaeae)yesNERC
Crescent (Celaena leucostigma)yesNERC
Ghost moth (Hepialus humuli)yesNERC
Rosy rustic (Hydraecia micacea)yesNERC
Small phoenix (Ecliptopera silaceata)yesNERC
Dark-barred twin-spot carpet (Xanthorhoe ferrugata)yesNERC
Typical bats (all species) ()yesEPS,
Brambling (Fringilla montifringilla)WCS
Fieldfare (Turdus pilaris)WCS,
Hobby (Falco subbuteo)WCS
Owl, Barn (Tyto alba)WCS,
Peregrine (Falco peregrinus)WCS
Redwing (Turdus iliacus)yesWCS,
Frog, Common (Rana temporaria)yesWCS
Bluebell (Hyacinthoides non-scripta)yesWCS,
Ringlet (Aphantopus hyperantus)yesLBAP
Common Pipistrelle (Pipistrellus pipistrellus)yesLBAP
Swift (Apus apus)yesRedlist(Red)
Woodcock (Scolopax rusticola)Redlist(Red)
House Martin (Delichon urbicum)yesRedlist(Red)
Mistle Thrush (Turdus viscivorus)Redlist(Red)
Whinchat (Saxicola rubetra)Redlist(Red)
Greenfinch (Chloris chloris)yesRedlist(Red)
Greylag Goose (Anser anser)Redlist(Amber)
Pink Footed Goose (Anser brachyrhynchus)Redlist(Amber)
Northern Shoveler (Spatula clypeata)Redlist(Amber)
Gadwall (Mareca strepera)Redlist(Amber)
Wigeon (Mareca penelope)Redlist(Amber)
Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos)Redlist(Amber)
Teal (Anas crecca)Redlist(Amber)
Stock Dove (Columba oenas)Redlist(Amber)
Woodpigeon (Columba palumbus)yesRedlist(Amber)
Moorhen (Gallinula chloropus)yesRedlist(Amber)
Oystercatcher (Haematopus ostralegus)Redlist(Amber)
Common Snipe (Gallinago gallinago)Redlist(Amber)
Black-headed Gull (Chroicocephalus ridibundus)yesRedlist(Amber)
Common gull (Larus canus)Redlist(Amber)
Lesser black-backed gull (Larus fuscus)yesRedlist(Amber)
Great black-backed gull (Larus marinus)Redlist(Amber)
Tawny owl (Strix aluco)yesRedlist(Amber)
Sparrowhawk (Accipiter nisus)yesRedlist(Amber)
Common Kestrel (Falco tinnunculus)yesRedlist(Amber)
Rook (Corvus frugilegus)yesRedlist(Amber)
Sedge warbler (Acrocephalus schoenobaenus)Redlist(Amber)
Willow warbler (Phylloscopus trochilus)yesRedlist(Amber)
Common whitethroat (Curruca communis)yesRedlist(Amber)
Wren (Troglodytes troglodytes)yesRedlist(Amber)
Pied flycatcher (Ficedula hypoleuca)Redlist(Amber)
Northern Wheatear (Oenanthe oenanthe)Redlist(Amber)
Meadow pipit (Anthus pratensis)Redlist(Amber)
Grey wagtail (Motacilla cinerea)Redlist(Amber)


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