SPARK #13: Cadishead and Little Woolden Moss

8 July 2023 / 11

SPARK #13 is a thirteenth in person meeting for Greater Manchester/North West-based artists who want to intervene in the trajectory towards climate breakdown, and is an opportunity to meet other artists and to share information and ideas.

Saturday 8th July 2023: Visit to Cadishead and Little Woolden Moss
Meet at the Moss at 11
Meet at Irlam station at 10:05 to walk to the Moss.
Register at

Hosted by artist Louise Clarke, SPARK #13 will focus on lowland peat and the restoration work being done at Casdishad and Little Woolden Moss.

Cadishead and Little Woolden Moss is one of the few remaining fragments of the Chat Moss peatlands. Standing opposite each other, the two reserves provide a stark contrast. Since its purchase by Lancashire Wildlife Trust in 2009, Cadishead Moss has become a haven of greenery thanks to the restoration work of the Trust’s staff and volunteers. Little Woolden Moss, saved from peat extraction in 2012, still has a long way to go after suffering over 100 years of peat extraction, but sphagnum moss and cottongrass are already recolonising the reserve.

In the summer, hobbies chase common darter and black darter dragonflies over the Mosses. Short-eared owls and buzzards also hunt, while lapwing and skylark breed on the ground. Roe deer and hares visit for food and shelter, while birdlife includes lapwings, plovers, oystercatchers, kestrels, curlews, wagtails, peregrines and short-eared owls and there is a wealth of insects, arachnids and lizards; you may even see an adder.

There is no cafe on the Moss; you are welcome to bring a packed lunch, or alternatively there are cafes and pubs on the way back to the station.

Louise Clarke is a textile artist and educator working with organic embroidery & natural dye. Alongside her artistic practice she has 20 years experience of working in the public and community sectors, delivering and facilitating, community engagement, community workshops, youth groups, and daily face to face engagement with young people and their families.


If going straight to the Moss, there is a small car park (four vehicles) accessible from Astley Road, and more parking on Moss Road. Please note that the road surface on Astley Road can be uneven and care is suggested.

SPARK #13 follows on from Castlefield Gallery’s SUSTAIN programme focussed on low carbon artmaking and from our first twelve SPARK sessions at Manchester Art Gallery, Rogue, The Birley (Preston), Eccles Friends Meeting House, Manchester Museum, AIR Gallery, Paradise Works and Editional Studio. The SPARK sessions are intended to help seed a new Greater Manchester/North West-based network of artists working low carbon.