At the end of October we compiled an update to the wildlife observations across Danes Moss following on from the updates we completed earlier in the year. Recording biodiversity is an ongoing process and with many plants and invertebrates growing and hatching out at very specific times of the year there has been a lot more to add since the July update.
We now have over 6000 biological records of over 900 species that have been added to the relevant wildlife recording databases as part of our ongoing Bioblitz and once again it shows just how much biodiversity exists on Danes Moss. It is one of the most biodiverse areas in the whole of Cheshire East and is nationally important with important populations of species such as Willow Tit and Dingy Skipper Butterfly.
Biodiversity loss and climate change are inextricably linked and can only be tackled together. The peat in Danes Moss is a product of the species that live and grow there and this carbon sequestering process has been going on across the moss for over 6000 years.
COP 15, the UN Biodiversity Conference runs from 7-15th December 2022 in Montreal, Canada. This conference aims to tackle the crisis in worldwide biodiversity loss across the planet, Danes Moss is one of the key areas within Cheshire East that can be part of the solution in reversing declines in Cheshire East.
In summary, a total of 101 species with protections have now been found across Danes Moss within both the area of proposed development and outside of the proposed development area, 61 of these have been recorded within the area of proposed development and 78 have been recorded outside of the proposed development area.
These protections include species listed under the following:
- NERC – Section 41 Species of Principal Importance, Natural Environment and Rural Communities (NERC) Act 2006 (37 species within the proposed development area)
- LBAP – Local (Cheshire) Biodiversity Action Plan (10 species within the proposed development area)
- WCS – Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981 (5 species within the proposed development area)
- Redlist – IUCN listed species within the UK that are of conservation concern (31 species within the proposed development area)
- EPS – European Protected Species
- PBA – The Badger Act
Notable observations include:
- 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
- Banded General soldier fly (Stratiomys potamida): only a handful of records in Cheshire in the last 50 years
- 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 (illustrated in the featured image at the top of this page)
- Pale Birch Case-Bearer Moth (Coleophora viminetella): nationally scarce
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, e.g. the protected species observations document here.