butterfly on heather

Silver-studded blue butterfly (Plebeius argus) worn male at rest on bell heather (Erica cinerea). Minsmere RSPB reserve in Suffolk. July 2011. - Chris Gomersall/2020VISION

Danes Moss nature reserve

Danes Moss Nature Reserve

Danes Moss nature reserve

Danes Moss Nature Reserve

Danes Moss nature reserve

Danes Moss Nature Reserve c. Claire Huxley

Danes Moss is the largest & highest lowland raised bog in Cheshire


Danes Moss, Gawsworth
SK11 9QS
A static map of Danes Moss

Know before you go

23 hectares

Entry fee


Walking trails

Leave Macclesfield via the A536 (Macclesfield-Congleton road). In Gawsworth Warren turn left at the crossroads, bearing left after 200 metres. Conitinue for approximately 0.9 miles on Woodhouse End Road (1.5km) where a footpath leaves the road on the left hand side, just before a sharp bend. Cars should be left at the side of the road. Proceed on foot along the public footpath. After 300 metres turn right, walk along the track until the reserve is reached. The footpath marks the northern boundary of the reserve. The reserve is open to all; for reasons of safety please keep to the public footpath.


Access may be possible for those with suitable mobility assisted equipment.


Dogs permitted

When to visit

Opening times

Open at all times

Best time to visit

March to September

About the reserve

Danes Moss near Macclesfield is an oasis of lowland raised bog, one of the scarcest and most threatened habitats in the UK. The open areas of the bog are covered with cotton grass, cross-leaved heath and at least six species of sphagnum moss. The sphagnum mosses are especially important as the remains of dead plants accumulate to form peat, the substrate of the bog. Danes Moss is a real treat for flying insect fans. 11 species of dragonfly and damselfly have been recorded, including the black darter, our smallest dragonfly. They are joined by 19 species of butterfly, including the green hairstreak. In recent years the Trust has undertaken exciting work to expand the reserve. A small adjacent stand of conifers was acquired, the trees cleared, and drains blocked to raise water levels. This area is now regenerating into heathland, although it will take many years to fully reinstate the original flora. In 2012, the Trust acquired an additional 9ha of the reserve through a generously supported members' appeal, bringing the total area of the reserve to over 22ha, and during 2013 we are beginning an access improvement programme that will see paths and trails improved and extended. New boardwalk areas will increase access to new parts of the reserve and encourage visitors to visit the reserve via the canal towpath on the edge of Macclesfield as well as the traditional Gawsworth entrance.

Contact us

Cheshire Wildlife Trust
Contact number: 01948 820728
Contact email: info@cheshirewt.org.uk

Environmental designation

Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)

In these challenging times our work will still continue to defend local wildlife

We can’t do this without your support so please donate what you can.