Skip to main content
close x

Key To Map

Choose the categories you would like to display on the map.

Choose the categories to be display on the map



The National Park has 75% of the valley mires in north-western Europe (90 out of 120).

The permanently waterlogged soils along many of the valley sides and bottoms has led to the formation of the most important mire system in Western Europe supporting plants such as mosses, bog asphodel and white beaked sedge. Dragonflies and damselflies abound.

When soils become waterlogged, organic matter no longer breaks down but accumulates as peat. As the peat builds up, plants of bogs and mires begin to grow. In the New Forest most mires are found in the valleys, often towards the south of the Park. A valley location means that water feeding the mire will have passed through the surrounding rocks and soils and be relatively rich in nutrients.

The water movement through the mire creates complicated patterns of nutrients and vegetation. At the outer edges of the mire sphagnum mosses are commonly found alongside different orchid species, cotton grass, sundews and bladderworts. This is the most nutrient poor soil on the mire. Plants such as sundews and bladderworts thrive here as both are adapted to low nutrients by being carnivorous on small insects.

Purple moor-grass and bog myrtle are found towards the middle of the mire along with areas colonised by alder and birch trees.

This last zone often has many other plant species associated with it. Mires are generally rich in plants with over 150 species being recorded on the better sites.

Newsletter Image





Six free walking routes when you sign up for New Forest Newsletter

Subscribe to New Forest National Park Authority

By entering your email below you are consenting to us sending you newsletters. To unsubscribe, email More info:

I think you mistyped your email
Your interests (tick at least one)

Please select one

By signing up to this form you are consenting to receive emails from us. Each email will contain a link to your personal reference settings where you can opt-out or change which emails you receive from us. Please read our Privacy Policy for more information about how we use data.

Subscribe to New Forest National Park Authority

Thanks, your subscription has been confirmed. You've been added to our list and your New Forest walking pack is on its way to you, including a link to download our free app.