Flitwick Moor

Flitwick Moor is the larger of the two moors on the trail, it is a wetland site with many varied habitats.  It has more fungi, mosses and insect species than much larger sites in East Anglia

Flitwick Moor

The Moor is a nationally important SSSI.  It is the largest semi-natural lowland wetland still remaining in this region with a range of swamp, mire with acid springs and wet woodland habitats. It is managed by the Wildlife Trust. In addition to its wildlife interest peat was extracted from the Moor (from Tudor times as fuel, more recently as a filter for coal gas) and there is still evidence of the metal trackways used to run wagons along.  The last person to work at peat digging died only recently.  The chalybeate springs provided a nationally famous mineral water in the 1880’s, described as "the most invigorating tonic in the world".

* A link to the Wildlife Trust website on Flitwick Moor


Relics from the Flitwick Water industry in discovered in Folly Wood, which is part of Flitwick Moor. Including the body of the boiler, loading stands and water tank.

The concrete block, which can still be found in the car park, was used to load peat from wagons to lorries before being taken to the station. Here is an image of a Hudson wagon & rails on the moor towards the end of peat extraction, and some of corroded wagon remains rescued from the fen.

Why Flitwick Moor is so important

The varied habitats on the moor, with bog, fen & mire, as well as wet woodland and ancient meadows, mean there are more species of wildlife here than other much larger sites.  For example there are ten species of sphagnum moss and over 250 of other mosses.  The numbers of fungi species found exceed 600 – including laccaria pupuriobadia – the ‘Flitwick moor fungus’.

Flitwick Moor.1947

Flitwick Moor in the 1940-50s

Article: Flitwick Moor, a photograph taken in June 1947. Since peat-cutting ended here during the last war, the area has dried out and become overgrown with birches. The narrow-gauge railway (just visible in front of the fence on this photograph) was used to transport the peat and was taken up in 1968, soon after peat-cutting finally ended on the Moor.

(Photo: Harry Meyer)

Cotton Grass

If you are anywhere near a peat bog in spring, you will see what looks like tufts of cotton wool swaying in the wind.  This is cotton grass, or bog cotton, which isn't really a grass at all, but a type of sedge.  The "cotton" is made of long white hairs that help the seeds to disperse in the wind.

Cotton Grass is commonly seen on high upland moors, but is rare in south east England.  But it is also found on Flitwick Moor.

Cotton grass has been used in the past for making candle wicks, stuffing pillows and even dressing wounds.

Saxifraga granulata

Saxifraga granulata

This image of Saxifrage was taken just before the exit Maggot’s Moor area on the Two Moors Heritage Trail.

Images from Before the Wildlife Trust

Here are some images of Flitwick Moor from before the Wildlife Trust took it over.

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