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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Birchwood at 50


12 noon to 15:00

Risley Moss Visitor Centre

Do you remember Bichwood in its early days being converted from the Bomb Factory in to the shopping mall and community.  Do you have any pictures ot the transformation and are you willing to share them for an exhibition at Warrington Museum the click on the link for mor information about a drop in session at Risley Moss Visitor Centre.

Drop in Session Risley moss 12 noon to 3pm 29/11/17

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Fungal Foray 08/10/17



8 October 2017


Thanks to Tom and Ken for their expertise in leading this years Fungal Foray.  Here are some pictures and the full Species list seen on the day.

Tom holding court


Geastrum triplex Collared earthstar
Hypholoma fasciculare Sulphur Tuft

Auricularia auricula-judaea Jelly Ear
The Whole Basket


Agaricus xanthoderma                                                  Yellow staining mushroom

Annulohypoxylon multiforme                                    Birch Woodwart

Armillaria gallica                                                                Bulbous Honey Fungus

Auricularia auricula-judaea                                        Jelly Ear

Boletus badius                                                                    Bay Bolete

Chondrostereum purpureum                                     Silverleaf Fungus

Clitocybe nebularis                                                          Clouded Funnel

Clitocybe phaeophthalma                                            Chicken Funnel

Clitocybe phyllophylla                                                    Frosty Funnel

Coprinellus disseminatus                                              Fairy Inkcap

Cortinarius hemitrichus                                                 Frosty Webcap

Crepidotus cessatii                                                           Oysterling

Daedalea quercina                                                           Oak Mazegill

Daedaleopsis confragosa                                              Blushing Bracket

Entoloma rhodopolium                                                  Wood Pinkgill

Ganoderma australe                                                       Southern Bracket

Geastrum triplex                                                               Collared earthstar

Hebeloma  leucosarx

Helvella crispa                                                                   White Saddle

Hypholoma fasciculare                                                  Sulphur Tuft

Inocybe geophylla                                                           White Fibrecap

Kuehneromyces mutabilis                                         Sheathed Woodtuft

Laccaria laccata                                                               The Deceiver

Lactarius turpis                                                                Ugly Milkcap

Leottia lubrica                                                                   Jelly Baby

Lepiota boudieri                                                               Girdled Dapperling

Lepiota castanea                                                              Chestnut Dapperling

Lepista flaccida                                                                 Tawny Funnel

Lycoperdon perlatum                                                    Common Puffball

Lycoperdon pyriforme                                                  Stump Puffball

Lyophyllum connatum                                                  White Domecap

Macrotyphula fistulosa var contorta

Macrotyphula fistulosa                                                Pipe Club

Mycena arcangeliana                                                     Angels Bonnet

Mycena sp

Pholiota squarrosa                                                         Shaggy Scalycap

Piptoporus betulinus                                                     Birch Polypore

Postia (caesia)                                                                   Conifer Blueing Bracket

Rhodocollybia butyracea                                            Butter  Cap

Scleroderma areolatum                                               Leopard Earthball

Scleroderma citrinum                                                   Common Earthball

Stereum  hirstum                                                             Hairy Curtaincrust

Stereum subtomentosum                                           Yellow Curtaincrust

Trametes versicolor                                                        Turkeytail

Tricholoma stiparophyllum

Tubaria furfuracea                                                           Scurfy Twiglet

Xylaria hypoxylon                                                            Candle Snuff/Stags Horn


Tom Ferguson   9-10-17

Ken Burgess

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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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Birds’ n’ Bees George Pilkington

Sunday 23rd July 11 – 12:30

Birds’ n’ Bees by George Pilkington

The fifth in a series of fascinating talks by naturalist George Pilkington, this time about the courtship and nesting habits of both garden birds and bees. Learn how some bees are actually ousting birds from their completed nests!

Cost – £3 per person – includes light refreshments

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

Places are limited so please book in advance on 01925 824339 or email the rangers on:

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George Pilkington Talks

George Pilkington; What’s Killing our Bees? 

Red Mason Bees (Osima bicomis)


Sunday 18th June                                 11:00pm to 12:30pm

This is the Forth in a series of talks by naturalist George Pilkington.

Find out how you can attract wildlife to your garden

Cost – £3 per person – Includes light refreshments

George is kindly donating any money generated

to the Risley Moss Green Safari Fund

Places limited – please book in advance on 01925 824339

or email the rangers at


Meet: Risley Moss Visitor Centre


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Support for RIMAG from Birchwood Shopping Mall

Dr Paul Speake thanking Gary Jones (Manager of Birchwood Shopping Mall) for their support of the work of RIMAG (see our news page for more).

Nature is a visual form of beauty and often overlooked and taken for granted. Birchwood Shopping Centre is proudly supporting and raising funds for Risely Moss Nature Reserve, in the hope to make a difference and supporting the environment.

 The Centre has supported numerous causes over recent years and for 2017 Birchwood have decided to support the local Nature Reserve. Risley Moss Nature Reserve was created following the last Ice Age and is locally referred to as the ‘mossland’. It is a designated Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) because of its rare habitat and plants. The main feature of the Nature Reserve is its huge, beautiful mossland and stunning views from the raised Observation Tower, which has additional interesting facts relating to the bird species and landscape layouts.

The Risley Moss Action Group charity was formed back in 1990 in response to local concerns about Cheshire County Council’s proposal to close the Nature Reserve. The vigorous campaign to stop the closure included various press coverage and public meetings with dedicated local residents, organisations and enlightened politicians, addressed by Professor David Bellamy at Birchwood High School, which resulted in the closure being averted. The reserve is managed by Natural England, Warrington Borough Council and its site rangers, who nurture and taken exceptional care of the valuable asset.

Funds will be raised through the Shopping Centre’s Honesty Library as well as various events and competitions. Money raised will help support conservation work and aiding the site’s Rangers in; carrying out public events, practical maintenance tasks and wildlife surveys. Donations will also provide birdfeed for the 20 different species of birds seen from the woodland hide, during the cold winter months, and help to support community targeted events and equipment.

Birchwood’s Centre Manager, Gary Jones, commented “The team at Birchwood Shopping Centre are extremely proud to be working in conjunction with Risley Moss Action Group and hope to raise huge amounts of awareness and funds by hosting various fun events, competitions.”

Dr Paul Speake, Chairman of Risley Moss Nature Reserve commented “We believe that Risley Moss is a wonderful site where you can relax and enjoy in a place nearby, but seems far away from the pressures of day-to-day life and experience its beautiful rare habitats and wildlife. The Action Group are extremely grateful to Birchwood Shopping Centre for providing us with extra support and the chance to raise funds to promote public awareness of Risley Moss.”

For more information about the Nature reserve and opening times see the Warrington Borough Council Webpage for the moss at  For more information about workdays and events to support the rangers, find us on our webpage at or for more up-to-date events and news like us on Facebook at Risley Moss Action Group.

To keep up-to-date on Birchwood Shopping Centre’s news and events, ‘Like’ us on Facebook: BirchwoodShoppingCentre, or follow us on Twitter: @BirchwoodSC

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