Weald Moors Safari
Exploring the Wildlife of the Weald Moors
Your Virtual Tour Begins Here...
The Weald Moors safari contains twenty-seven bespoke guides to some of the most characteristic flora and fauna of the east Shropshire moorlands, and the key habitat features that support it (for a general introduction to the area, click on the ‘read more’ link below).
In the top left hand corner of the map, you’ll find a drop down menu containing a series of filters to help sort the information at hand. Beneath the map itself, which contains ‘pins’ pointing directly to places where each species has been recorded, there is also a handy list to guide you directly to each article.
So fire your imagination, and let your virtual moorland odyssey begin…
The Weald Moors form a highly sensitive peat landscape characterised by rush-filled drainage dykes, damp pasture land and slow-flowing rivers and streams, known locally as ‘strines’. This is some of the Shropshire’s lowest and wettest ground, where a high water table has shaped a unique but vulnerable wetland inheritance. The thick peat deposits that provide the area with so much of its character were laid down at the end of the last Ice Age, around twenty thousand years ago, and once provided the foundation for a vast, slow-moving watery fen that covered some seventy square kilometres. That this is no longer the case owes much to a dense network of Nineteenth Century drainage ditches that sped water away from the area and resulted in the patchwork of pasture and crop fields we see today.
Wetlands are the most productive landscapes on Earth, with a wide range of plants, animals and insects you won’t find anywhere else. So, while the forensically drained modern day Weald Moors landscape may be a shadow of its former self, this ‘big area’ still has wilderness at its beating heart — and an array of flora and fauna that depend on its damp soils for their survival. The east Shropshire moorlands are a regional strong hold for a number of increasingly rare species and our safari, although by no means exhaustive, will aim to show just some of the birds, small mammals, plants, insects and aquatic life to be found in this characterful place (as well as the major habitat features that support them).