Know before you go
Parking informationThere is limited parking available on the verge outside the reserve entrance.
There is a circular route leading around the reserve which utilises public bridleways and permissive paths. These can by boggy and uneven in places. In the North-East corner of the reserve, two small boardwalks (160cm wide with a small step) cross an area of bog and pools. Please be extremely cautious away from the designated paths as areas of the site can be dangerous including many deep pools.
The main entrance is off a minor road off the B6353 2km east of Ford Village, with limited parking on the grass verge. The road is signposted to Ford Moss, which is 1km south. At NT962375 a 5-bar gate gives access into the reserve along a 250cm wide track on a slight uphill gradient. A second entrance exists via a single latch gate about 400m down the minor road. In the North East corner of the reserve, there is access from a bridleway through two latch gates linked by a muddy passage, 120cm wide. The terrain is extremely uneven and wet in many places, including on designated footpaths and bridleways. Off the paths, the ground is very uneven and the peat bog contains many deep pools.
When to visit
Best time to visitAll year round
About the reserve
The site lies between farmland to the north and a sandstone ridge to the south. The raised mire is set in a hollow and has grown over a small lake which would have been present shortly after the last ice age. The bog is now dominated by heather but various mire species still occur in wetter parts of the site.
The most striking feature on the site is a large brick chimney, part of what remains of a former coal mine that operated along the northern edge and under the moss. An old engine house ruin also stands on the northern edge of the site with former spoil heaps pushing out towards the mire. A band of trees skirt the southern and eastern edge of the site with old pine and oak woodland sweeping up the slopes out of the moss itself. The moss is composed of a deep layer of peat which has grown up over thousands of years. Past drainage and subsequent growth of birch on the site has dried the site out and the dense heather is partly a result of this.
The wetter parts of the site are still home to sphagnum mosses, sundew, cranberry, cross-leaved heath and cotton grasses and the large heath butterfly still breeds on the bog. The aromatic bog myrtle grows at various places, and the site is home to good numbers of common lizards, with adders also seen on occasion. Birds such as red grouse, meadow pipit and woodcock breed here and snipe are often seen. Buzzard and kestrel are frequently seen over the reserve. The site is managed in partnership with Ford and Etal Estates.