Know before you go
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.
When to visit
Opening timesOpen at all times
Best time to visitMarch 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.