Category Archives: News

Amphibians and Reptiles of Risley Moss

Just released is a new booklet from Rob Smith detailing the Amphibians and reptiles of Risley Moss.

This Booklet is available from RIMAG at £2.50 per copy, we will have them available at various events over the coming months but if you would like one just e mail us at and we will get back to you.

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The iconic observation tower at Risley Moss, destroyed in 2017

Warrington Borough Council secure £250,000 in grant funding

We’re super-excited about WBC’s successful bid. Read more about their plans for a new installation at Risley Moss Nature Reserve on our Tower Page and at the Council’s News Page.

Thanks to everyone in the local community and beyond for their many contributions that raised £10,000 – a sum that was an important contribution to the successful bid.

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Hobby at the moss

Hobby (Phil Rees)

I had a quick wander at the moss today to check out the new boardwalk, lots of dragonflies (mostly four spot chasers) and damselflies (Azure and large red).  Then on to the view point over the moss.  Three Hobbies were feeding over the moss.  As I was watching Ste Dodd arrived and we had a great chat and catch up.  He was also on the lookout for hobbies and mentioned that he had seen them feeding over the mini moss.  So the boardwalk could give a great platform from which to view them feeding in close up.  I didn’t get a photo myself but the one above was taken by Phil Rees over the moss a few years ago.

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Our dragonfly pins are proving very popular!
Here we have listed the ways you can get your hands on one:

They are £5 each, make great gifts.

Birch Bark Illustration and Design kindly designed the pins for free.
You can buy them directly from Birch Bark using the link below:
Click here to buy online

You can email us at: and we will try and arrange a time and place to get one to you!

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Risley Moss Observation Tower Replacement

Here is a link to the long awaited response of the council to what is happening towards replacing the Tower that was destroyed by and act of vandalism last year.

WBC stance regarding replacement tower

See what you think and send us a response are post on the facebook link.  As you can see from the press release this is nothing new to those who have followed this but at least we now have something in writing from Warrington Borough Council.

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Best Feet Forward

It is nearly 6 months since arsonists burned down the Risley Moss Cruden Observation Tower and there has been much discussion as to what should replace it.  The good news is that Warrington Borough Council are committed to replacing the old structure, but with what is uncertain at this stage.  Consultations are ongoing and in the New Year there will be a public consultation on the proposals which Risley Moss Action Group (RIMAG) will make public as soon as possible.

Left to right: Paul Speake, Chair of Risley Moss Action Group; Jenny McIntyre, Spectrum committee member; Mark Cozens, Warrington Borough Council Ranger Service and Janet Redpath, Race Director 2017.

RIMAG are coordinating the fund raising efforts of the local community and many donations have been channelled their way.  One such donation came from Spectrum Striders, who used  income from the Birchwood 10K in August to raise a donation of £500. Janet Redpath, the 2017 Spectrum Striders Race Director, along with committee member Jenny McIntyre, presented a cheque to the rebuilding fund. The Race Director said this was a way of the runners putting something back into the community.  The cheque was received by Mark Cozens of the Warrington Borough Council Ranger Service and Dr Paul Speake, Chair of RIMAG.

Groups have also raised funds by completing the Three Peaks Challenge of Snowdon, Scafell Pike and Ben Nevis or donating to the fund via a GoFundMe page, along with donations from the Friends of Birchwood Forest Park. Specific fund-raisers have been organised by RIMAG and a trio of local Mums, Emma, Sian and Karen known affectionately as the Coven, who organised the Halloween Event raising £2,500.  The total for the fund now sits at over £7300 and RIMAG intend to organise more events in the coming months.

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Risley Moss Tower Replacement; a straw poll.

The Tower, as it once stood in all it’s glory.

We at RIMAG where wondering what would be the best structure to replace the Tower  at the reserve.  But then we thought what do the local people want to see and what would best serve their needs.  So we would like your input. Do you have a drawing or suggestion as to what could replace the tower to best utilse and enhance the view?

Any Ideas can be e-mailed to us at

Thanks you any input will be greatly received and put forward to the council as to what the public would like to see.

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Risley moss Action Group and the Tower Fund


Risley moss Action Group and the Tower Fund

Risley Moss Action Group are liaising with Warrington Borough Council and their Rangers in order to raise money for the refurbishment of the iconic fire damaged observation tower.  If any one wishes to donate to this fund cheques made payable to Risley Moss Action Group can be handed into the rangers at the moss or deposited in the donations box in the visitor centre at the moss.  Any donations will be administered solely by Risley Moss Action Group and passed on to the council as and when the plans for the Tower come to fruition.  As RIMAG is a registered charity (No: 1041935) and if you are a current tax payer then we can claim monies from the Government under the flag of Gift Aid, to supplement your donation by 25%.  Please download (Gift Aid Declaration) and return the signed form with your donations.

We are also working on setting up a donations page on our website through the medium of PayPal when this is established we will post more information.

If anyone has any idea as to what they would like to replace the tower then the Rangers, RIMAG and the Council are open to any suggestions.  We are currently working in the framework to produce something that would be iconic but it would have to conform to full disability access as well as being iconic to fit in with current building regulations.  If you have any ideas then e-mail us on


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Garden Bumble Bees George Pilkington 11/03/17 11am

Garden Bumble Bees

Saturday 11th March

Risley Moss Local Nature Reserve

11.00am – 12.30pm

A talk by local expert George Pilkington on the ecology of bumble bees, their pests and his own innovative bumble bee nest boxes

Cost – £3 per person – Includes light refreshments

George is kindly donating any money generated to the Risley Moss Green Safari Fund

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Risley Moss Fungal Foray 09/10/16



Sunday 9th October 2016

Tom Ferguson


Basket of fungi collected on foray Sunday 9th October 2016
Basket of fungi collected on foray Sunday 9th October 2016



The foray took place at Risley Moss near Warrington which is an SSSI managed by the ranger service of Warrington Borough Council with voluntary support from the local community Action Group. The main part of the site is the former Lancashire mossland which is being restored to its former glory. However the foray took place within the predominantly Birch woodland which surrounds the moss

Fifteen people attended the foray including the Chair of the Action Group and two young enthusiasts who were invaluable in searching out fungi from the more impenetrable parts.

Fungi were a bit few and far between but thirty five species were identified. These were used to describe aspects of fungi such as their form, what to look for when identifying them, where they grow, mycorrhiza, the importance of mycorrhiza and their role in the ecological cycle.

The highlights included the Earthstars and Stinkhorn eggs and the BMS Pocket Guide was helpful in revealing what it looked like when mature. These along with the Saddles, Jelly Ear, Stagshorn, Woodwarts  and various brackets helped to demonstrate the great variety of shapes and sizes.

The most dramatic of the gilled fungi were Sulphur Tuft and Glistening Ink-cap which were seen in prufusion bursting out of several decaying tree stumps.

RISLEY MOSS Species list

October 9th 2016

Agaricus (sylvaticus)                                                   Wood mushroom

Annulohypoxylon multiforme                                Birch Woodwart

Auricularia auricula-judaea                                      Jelly Ear

Boletus badius                                                                  Bay Bolete

Chlorociboria aeruginascens                                   Green Elf Cup

Clitocybe (fragrans)                                                        Fragrant Funnel

Clitocybe (metachroa)

Coprinellus micaceus                                                   Glistening Inkcap

Coprinopsis  atramentarius                                      Common Inkcap

Daedalea quercina                                                          Oak Mazegill

Entoloma sp                                                                        Pinkgill

Ganoderma australe                                                      Southern Bracket

Helvella crispa                                                                   Common Saddle

Hypholoma fasciculare                                                  Sulphur Tuft

Inocybe geophylla                                                            White Fibrecap

Laccaria laccata                                                                  The Deceiver

Lacrymaria lacrymabunda                                          Weeping Widows

Lactarius tabidus                                                              Birch Milkcap

Lepiota cristata                                                                 Stinking Dapperling

Lepista flaccida                                                                  Tawny Funnel

Lycoperdon perlatum                                                    Common Puffball

Lyophyllum decastes                                                      Clustered Domecap

Mycena galericulata                                                        Common Bonnet

Mycena vitilis                                                                     Snapping Bonnet

Paxillus involutus                                                             Brown Roll-rim

Phallus impudicus                                                            Stinkhorn

Pholiota squarrosa                                                          Shaggy  Scalycap

Piptoporus betulinus                                                      Birch polypore,                                                                                                                      Razorstrop Fungus

Psathyrella multipedata                                              Clustered Brittlestem

Russula ochroleuca                                                         Ochre Brittlegill

Scleroderma citrinum                                                     Common Earthball

Scleroderma verrucosum                                             Scaly Earthball

Trametes versicolor                                                        Turkeytail

Xylaria hypoxylon                                                            Candle nuff/Stagshorn

Tom Ferguson

10 October 2016

Brackets are most likely but not absolutely certain identifications

Many thanks for Tom for this report on the species seen at risley moss on Sunday and I hope all who attended had a good time and came away with more appreciation of the Fungi around us.

Paul Speake

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