See if you can identify cotton grass – it looks like someone has emptied a big bag of cottonwool balls across the landscape

Cotton grass is widespread in the wetlands and boggy habitats of Europe and is recognisable by its fluffy, white, seed heads. Watching an expanse of cotton grass sway in the breeze with its peaceful movement can be a mesmerizing experience.


Cotton grass

Identify cotton grass image

Despite its name cotton grass is not a grass at all and is, in fact, a member of the sedge family. The fluffy white fruiting heads were once used as an alternative to goose down for stuffing pillows and during the first world war the heads were used for dressing wounds.

For more information on cotton grass visit the Wildlife Trust webpage.

With its marshes, pools, and heathland Brown Moss is an ideal environment for cottongrass to flourish. A great variety of other wildlife flourishes here too, including great spotted woodpeckers, jays, and common and great crested newts. In the summer, large numbers of froglets can be seen making a mass exodus from the pools, whilst dragonflies are glimpsed hunting around the ponds and woodland edges.

There are several reasonably level, well defined circular walks, most of which require stout footwear or wellingtons.