Peat

The border between English Maelor and Welsh Maelor (Wrexham and Shropshire today) comprises three peat bogs, Bettisfield Moss, Fenn's Moss and Whixall Moss. Plants such as cotton sedge, bog moss and sphagnum, great hairy willowherb, water figwort, flag iris, cross-leaved heath, bog rosemary, cranberry and sundew thrive in this area. In the low lying area, great thicknesses of peat have developed andthe 'turves' have been used as fuel and animal bedding. The (Clwyd/Powys archeological website) notes that 'From the middle of the 19th century onwards the peat in Maelor Saesneg was used for a much wider variety of purposes, being used in compressed form for a variety of metalworking and manufacturing processes, for the production of charcoal and for distillation, and being developed for use with munitions during both the First and Second World Wars
Peat used to be a major source of freight for Fenns Bank Station when it was open.
In the modern era, there is a massive demand for peat for potting plants.The threat to nature reserves has led to many brands of potting compost being described as 'peat free'in order to appeal to environmentalists. Large scale mechanical cutting of peat was stopped in 1990 at Whixall Moss, but some hand cutting continues.
Turves are often cut by hand and stacked for drying.The old peat processing works is shown left.
Today the area is preserved by English Nature and tours are available.

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