West Pennine Moors SSSI

Closed 17 Mar 2017

Opened 17 Nov 2016


Parts of the West Pennine Moors were notified as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) on 17 November 2016 recognising the national importance of the area's upland habitats and breeding birds.

This consultation is to enable people to send their views before Natural England decides whether to confirm or withdraw this notification.

You can submit your views via an online survey, by email or post. 

Before you submit your views, we recommend you read more about the notification.  The Notification document can be found in the related documents section.  


Why We Are Consulting

The West Pennines is a moorland area rising above Manchester and the Lancashire Plain that provides a dramatic backdrop to the surrounding towns.  Within the West Pennine Moors SSSI there is a diverse mosaic of upland habitats with large expanses of blanket bog, heathland, flushes and mire grasslands, species rich grasslands, and woodland.  Collectively, these habitats support a wide range of upland and woodland breeding birds, including large numbers of breeding black headed gulls, Mediterranean gulls and a heronry.  The SSSI also provides habitat for Nationally Rare and Scarce plants: starry lady’s mantle, large-toothed lady’s mantle and floating water plantain.

The West Pennines are a valuable asset for wildlife, businesses, outdoor recreation and water provision.  Balancing the needs of all these interests is critical to the conservation of this upland landscape.  Through SSSI notification parts of the moor are now recognised for their national scientific importance and Natural England hopes this will act as a catalyst for everyone with an interest in the West Pennines to work together to maximise the landscapes’ potential for all concerned.

Working with owners and occupiers, Natural England wants to ensure that the West Pennine Moors SSSI is managed in a way that safeguards its national scientific importance whilst maximing the benefits to businesses and those seeking enjoyment and a sense of wellbeing from the area.   Central to our approach is the management and restoration of blanket bog.  Bogs in good condition provide multiple social benefits including increased water storage in the upper catchments to reduce flood risk downstream, increasing carbon dioxide uptake from the atmosphere as well as providing a unique habitat for wildlife.


What Happens Next

We are now assessing the response to the consultation and will be making a recommendation to the Board of Natural England in due course.  Natural England has to make a decision to either confirm or withdraw this notification by 16 August 2017 or the notification will cease to exist.  

We will widely promote Natural England's decision. 


  • All Areas


  • Charities/Voluntary Organisations
  • Government Agencies
  • Local Authorities
  • Walkers
  • Farmers
  • Tenant Farmers
  • Agricultural Landlords
  • Land Agents
  • Public Bodies
  • Consultants


  • Natural environment
  • Biodiversity
  • Conservation
  • Land management
  • Environmental Stewardship
  • Uplands
  • Protecting wildlife