Ospreys use Foulshaw Moss Nature Reserve as a nesting site. Visit for free, directions are on the right of this page. Please be aware that the reserve will be closed between 20 March and 1 April 2017 due to essential works being carried out to the reserve entrance from the A509 to improve access and safety. Maintenance work to replace the raised viewing platform is also underway and may take a couple of weeks. Work to install board walks is ongoing but visitors can get to a viewing point.
Improving Foulshaw Moss for nature
This nature reserve is an internationally rare lowland raised peatbog. High and stable water levels are essential to the health and long term future of the bog. Unfortunately this bog has suffered in the past from a steady lowering of water levels and a gradual deterioration of the peatland and its wildlife.
Spring – Green hairstreak butterflies fly in May, tree pipits and stonechats display over the bog, warblers and cuckoos sing in the woodland, ospreys return from Africa.
Summer- Huge numbers of dragonflies including the rare White faced Darter dragonfly, large heath butterflies, lizards, adders & nesting ospreys.
Autumn- Heather flowering purple, migrating birds include ospreys passing through in September, red deer rutting.
Winter – Both marsh harrier and hen harrier visit the site, large numbers of snipe and teal arrive, and red deer can be seen from the raised platform.
In partnership with Natural England, the Trust has been carrying out significant habitat restoration works which aim to raise water levels and secure the long term future of Foulshaw Moss. Conifer trees have been removed from around the edges as they have served to dry the peat and excavators have blocked drains and created small low bunds that retain water on the bog.
Following the completion of restoration works, improvements to parking and access will be made, with new walkways and signage planned. Slowly we are seeing the characteristic bog vegetation of Sphagnum moss, cotton grass, cranberry and bog rosemary reclaiming the site.
Foulshaw Moss was purchased in 1998 with help from the Heritage Lottery Fund. Since then, a number of additional areas have been acquired.
By car: Travelling west along A590 towards Barrow in Furness, at the end of the dual carriageway at Gilpin Bridge, continue for 1km/0.6 miles. Immediately before a signed parking layby on the west-bound carriageway turn left down a track. Go through the gate and continue until a small car parking area is reached. Travelling east on the A590 towards Kendal, pass the junction for Witherslack and continue for 0.6km/0.4 miles. The track to the reserve is on the right immediately after the parking layby. Please take care when turning into the reserve from this direction, as the road can be extremely busy. Do not take the turning signposted for 'Foulshaw', the turning for Foulshaw Moss is a short way further towards Barrow.
By bicycle:The reserve is on National Route 72 (Walney to Wear).
By public transport: Buses run from Barrow in Furness, Ulverston, Newby Bridge, Grange over Sands and Kendal to Witherslack
Watch live osprey nest web cam located at Foulshaw Moss Nature Reserve
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Read Foulshaw Moss osprey viewpoint blog for the latest news about our nesting ospreys.
Species and habitats
- Osprey, Red Deer, Adder, Emperor Moth, Green Hairstreak, Alder Buckthorn, Azure damselfly, Black darter, Bog Asphodel, Bogbean, Brimstone, Buzzard, Chiffchaff, Common darter, Common hawker, Common Lizard, Common Reed, Common Toad, Cotton-grass, Blue-tailed damselfly, Broad-bodied Chaser, Creeping Jenny, Cross-leaved Heath, Cuckoo, Emerald damselfly, Emperor dragonfly, Great Spotted Woodpecker