The West Pennine Moors is one of Lancashire’s biodiversity ‘hot-spots’ resulting in part from its varied landscape.

The area is largely characterized by its extensive open moorland dissected by cloughs and valleys, with streams descending from the hills through woodland, pasture and meadow. Reservoirs constructed in the main valleys have matured to become an integral part of the area, sometimes referred to as ‘Lancashire’s Lake District’, and also provide a positive contribution to biodiversity. The importance of the West Pennine Moors for wildlife, habitats and conservation is recognised in being regarded as a core biodiversity resource in the North West; with habitats include Blanket bog, Mire, Upland oak woodland, Wet woodland, Heath and Species-rich Grassland.

The diversity of landscape and habitats make the West Pennine Moors an exceptional place for wildlife, something long known but not widely appreciated. As a rough estimate, within the West Pennine Moors it is possible to find over 600 species of plants and 100 species of breeding birds plus 34 regular, plus a further 20 irregular, wintering/passage birds, as well as twenty-three mammals, two reptiles and five species of amphibians. Mosses, liverworts, fungi and invertebrates remain to be counted!

Species of conservation concern at a national level, such as Skylark, Twite, Reed Bunting, Spotted Flycatcher, Song Thrush, Brown Hare and the Pink Meadow-cap, can all be found in the West Pennine Moors.

The WPM Priority Habitats and Species section of the website provides greater detail on the biodiversity of the West Pennine Moors