In Europe, intact lowland raised bogs are one of the rarest and most threatened habitats. North West England had the largest proportion of this habitat, although the total area has fallen by 94% since the beginning of the C19th.
The area of Chat Moss is a now a collection of fragmented smaller mossland sites many of which have been left desolate wastelands after excavation peat works have finished. This area of mossland was throughout historic times one of the most remote and frightening areas of the British countryside, a trackless wilderness, or as Daniel Defoe called it “ a waste”.
Shaped and defined historically by its people these mossland sites are inextricably linked with their communities and the rivers, which run through them.