Little Woolden Moss was the victim of a large fire that caused 500 sq m of damage.
Whilst the start of the fire is unknown, the Wildlife Trust has said they have reason to suspect it was an arson attack.
The Lancashire Wildlife Trust has put out a tweet stating their suspicions of arson.
A 500m2 area of rare lowland heath at Little Woolden Moss – where the ground-nesting nightjar was in residence last year – has been torched by suspected arson. We are devastated.
We're so thankful to the fire service and the member of the public who alerted them. pic.twitter.com/1Hy64KAOuP
— Lancashire Wildlife Trust (@Lancswildlife) April 14, 2021
“A 500m2 area of rare lowland heath at Little Woolden Moss – where the ground-nesting nightjar was in residence last year – has been torched by suspected arson. We are devastated.
We’re so thankful to the fire service and the member of the public who alerted them.”
The charity have since released a statement.
“An area of Little Woolden Moss, near Salford, has been subject to a suspected arson attack, threatening wildlife as it is preparing its homes from Spring.
“Approximately 500m2 of rare lowland heath habitat has been affected with concern for the safety of species such as common lizard, field voles and the rare bog bush cricket, who may not have been fast enough have been escape the flames, along with ground nesting birds such as the nightjar which only returned to the area last year after a hiatus of 20 years.”
The charity have been working for many years to help revitalise the UK’s peatlands and encourage natural life to flourish.
“With our help, both Cadishead and Little Woolden Moss are bursting back into life. There is evidence of roe deer visiting the sites, and lifelong resident and birder, David Steel, has recorded more than 100 species of bird including rarities like the weird and wonderful stone curlew.
“In summer, hobbies chase common darter and black darter dragonflies over the Moss, and as the season melts into autumn, merlins can be seen perched on rocks and tree stumps, surveying the landscape for prey. Short-eared owls and buzzards also hunt over Cadishead and Little Woolden Moss, while lapwing and skylark breed down on the ground.”
If you have any information which may help the investigation please contact Greater Manchester Police.