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Newton Reigny

Tussocky sedges and some unusual wetland plants combined with the wet woodland of willow and alder provide a home for some rare spiders and beetles.


  • Spring and the bog bean is in flower and the spring woodland birds are in full song
  • Summer find the crimson flowers of marsh cinquefoil, yellow globe flowers and great fen sedge

How the moss formed

Newton Reigny is one of a series of mires in the Eden Valley which formed in depressions on the valley floor left after the ice age. These would initially have been lakes which gradually filled up with vegetation forming peat. At one time, it is likely that Newton Reigny was a rain-fed raised mire (like Drumburgh Moss and Meathop Moss) however it has been considerably modified by man.

A wet mossy habitat

Drainage, particularly after World War II, has meant that the moss has become much drier and willow and alder have now colonised much of the site - although it is still a very wet place to visit.  As well as common species of willow, you can also find bay, tea-leaved and dark-leaved willow here. In the very wettest areas there is a diversity of sedge species including slender, lesser tussock and great fen sedge. You will also find bog-bean, greater spearwort, marsh cinquefoil, cottongrass, marsh valerian and ragged robin here too. The moss has long been known as an excellent site for invertebrates and a number of rare spiders and beetles have been recorded here.

Peat cutting

Peat was used extensively for domestic fuel until the 19th century and Newton Reigny Moss was divided into 35 strips or stints so that local families could cut their own. Although peat cutting ceased in 1840, the moss is still in multiple ownership with Cumbria Wildlife Trust owning just one small stint.

The nature reserve was given to the Trust in 1969 by Lt Col St H W T Lewis.

Getting here

By car: From Penrith take the B5288 towards Greystoke.  Immediatly after crossing the M6 turn right for Newton Reigny.  In the village turn left down a small road and park here. Follow this road on foot until it turns into a farm track and go through the gate into the field on the right hand side.  Cross the field turning left at the large boulderto a stile onto the moss.
By bicycle: The reserve is 0.4km/ 0.25 miles from National Route 7 Coast to Coast.
By public transport: Buses run from Penrith to Newton Reigny.

Species and habitats

Wetland, Woodland
Great Fen-sedge, Marsh Cinquefoil, Ragged-Robin, Cotton-grass

Nearby nature reserves

Thacka Beck
2 miles - Cumbria Wildlife Trust
Eycott Hill
5 miles - Cumbria Wildlife Trust
Wreay Woods
12 miles - Cumbria Wildlife Trust

Nature reserve map

Reserve information

Near Penrith
Map reference
NY 478 310
Great for...
Best time to visit
Apr - Aug
Get directions
Find out here
Public transport
Plan your journey
Opening Times
Open at all times
0.30 hectares
Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI)
Directions take you to the end of the Trust owned strip however reserve boundaries are not visible on the ground. The moss is very wet with numerous ditches and dense willow scrub. Wellington boots are essential. Extreme care should be taken by visitors and it is recommended that you do not visit the moss alone.
Walking information
There are no paths or tracks on the reserve.
Park in Newton Reigny
No dogs allowed
Grazing animals
Reserve manager
Kevin Scott
Tel: 01228 829570