Nightjar habitat, 'Middle Moor', Thorne Moors



53o38´14´´N/00o53´50´´W Thorne Moors (centre) South Yorkshire, East Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire, Thorne Moors 1918ha, flat 6msl 

53o32´56´´N/00o55´52´´W Hatfield Moors (centre) South Yorkshire, Hatfield Moors 1463ha flat 6msl 

TOTAL 2381ha 

SPA, SAC, NNR, IBA, nominate RAMSAR 

Anytime (1974-2004)

Birding Site Guide

The Humberhead Peatlands National Nature Reserve comprises two close but separate sites, Thorne and Hatfield Moors, which encompass most of the remaining (degraded) raised mire of the once much more extensive Humberhead Levels. Thorne Moors at 1918ha and Hatfield Moors at 1400ha are the largest and second largest areas of lowland ombrotrophic raised mire in Britain. They have low annual precipitation and share insect fauna affinities with counterparts in Poland, Germany and the Baltic States (Eversham 2000). They are considered to be western outliers of Continental type mires rather than the more usual Atlantic type found in Britain (Eversham 2000). As such, they are the only surviving mires of this type in Britain (Eversham, Skidmore and Buckland 1995). Thorne Moors is completely surrounded by intensive arable farmland, except for an area where the disused Thorne Colliery and associated spoil mound adjoin the village of Moorends. 

Thorne and Crowle are on the route of the Peatlands Way, a 72 km circular walk which connects with the Trans Pennine Trail. 

Accommodation can be found for Thorne Moors at Moorends or a little farther away at Thorne. For Hatfield Moors Accommodation can be found at Hatfield Woodhouse or a little further away in Hatfield. There are several points of access for both moors. 



and more info and publications can be found here THMCF there is also an up-to-date map on THMCF website with the names used here. 

From the M18 (junction 5, near M180 junction 1), head S to Hatfield Woodhouse on the A18, there then is a left turn onto the A614 about 2km from the motorway. On entering Hatfield Woodhouse as you go round a right bend, on the left is a road called Remple Lane, continue along the left fork (Hollinbridge Lane), go down here and out past the houses to the fields and follow the narrow country lane until you reach a farm track where the road goes over a narrow bridge. Follow the road over the bridge (Turf Moor Road, then Moor Dike Road) and continue past some isolated houses and farms until you see the trees on the moor’s edge. Continue along Lindholme Bank Road, and through the first trees to a sharp left bend in the road, just after rounding this on your right is the EN parking area, with information board and map. From the A614 to the parking area is about 5km (3 miles). Wood Warbler (BPW) photos Justin Carr.

Wood Warbler, Hatfield Moors 26.04.2010 (Justin Carr).jpg




Wood Warbler, Hatfield Moors 26.04.10 (Justin Carr).jpg


Note; Hatfield Moors has dangers such as deep water ditches and Adders, also insects such as mosquitoes and horse flies can be about in large numbers in summer and ticks from deer and livestock may carry Lime's disease. The site is also very large and it is easy to walk along the paths and lose your sense of direction, maps and compass and notes of where you have turned would be useful and take enough water and wear suitable footwear. 

From the parking area you can walk around a large area of disused gravel pits. There are other areas to bird as well as along the road, though further on the road is private access. Some parts of Hatfield Moors are still off-limits, as restoration work with heavy machinery continues, check with EN if you want to explore elsewhere on this moor. On the N edge of the moor Scotts peat mill is still operational (now using imported peat) and access from there requires prior arrangements with Scotts. 

Main trails are 

Access from Wroot or from Boston Park Access (A614). 

Boston Park walk (2.7km) goes in a loop past gravel workings to bird hide and around lake. 

Packard’s Trail (5.6km) as above but continues through Packard’s Heath and round Badger Corner looping back to start. 

Badger Corner Lake Trail (4.4km) goes from Wroot access around Badger Corner and lake. 

Wroot Trail (8.3km) goes similar to Packard’s Trail but from Wroot access. Red Bridge Trail (6km) goes from Boston Park to Ten Acre Lake to the N. The Peatlands Way Long Distance Footpath section here is between Wroot and goes N past Ten Acre Lake to Hatfield Woodhouse. 

Hatfield Moors is geologically very interesting with the raised middle sand and gravel area of Lindholme Island being of glacial moraine from the last ice-age. This wood and heath area has its own special flora and fauna. Indeed the whole Humberhead Peatlands National Nature Reserve is very rich with the site having the 3rd largest insect list in the British Isles. 


Thorne Moors comprises Thorne Waste, Snaith & Cowick Moor, Rawcliffe Moor, Goole Moor and Crowle Moor, each defined by parish boundaries. All these areas (collectively referred to here as Thorne Moors unless otherwise stated), are designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). The Humberhead Peatlands NNR, which previously comprised only parts of Thorne and Hatfield Moors, was at the time of writing of this report expanded to include the whole of Thorne Moors, coinciding with the cessation of peat extraction operations. The Reserve is managed by English Nature, except Crowle Moor, which is administered by the Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust. Thorne Moors qualifies as a Wetland of International Importance under the terms of the Ramsar Convention, 1971, though this has not been ratified for the site yet. Thorne Moors is a Special Area of Conservation (under the European Community Habitats & Species Directive, 1992) as a raised mire capable of regeneration. Similarly Thorne Moors is a Special Protection Area (under the European Community Birds Directive, 1979), because of the nationally important numbers of breeding European Nightjar Caprimulgus europaeus. 

The centre of Thorne Moors is located at SE730160, and the ground lies between 1-3m above mean sea level (Ordnance Survey ExplorerTM maps 280 and 291). Agricultural drainage and encroachment have eaten away at the margins of the mire, and large-scale commercial peat winning continued until 2001. Thorne Moors comprises a range of habitat types, from the large dry bare areas where peat winning occurred until recently, through to mature carr and other woodland. Some areas are dominated by birch Betula scrub that is in a stunted state due to the waterlogged nature of the terrain. Around the edges of the moors are small areas of mature oak Quercus woodland and some larger woods of birch, Alder Alnus glutinosa and willow Salix. Long abandoned manual peat diggings in the central areas of the moors have reverted back to semi-natural mire vegetation, interspersed with drier areas resembling heath. 

As you enter Moorends over the railway-crossing look for a road on your left called Grange Road, the main access point is from the public right of way footpath, which is found at the far end of Grange Road. There is parking either in the street or at the Moorends recreation ground car park. Walk along the footpath towards the colliery buildings and follow the path to the ‘T’ junction of the colliery road, go across and follow the wide track along the base of the colliery spoil mounds on your right and the fields on your left. After half a km you will reach the edge of the moors, continue along the path and over a metal footbridge. There is an English Nature (EN) sign and map here. Thorne Moors has at least 30km of footpaths, many are a grid of raised pathways (trams) that were left after the dismantling of the narrow-gauge railway that was used for removing the peat. 

There are many good birding areas all over the moors. As you walk along the public footpath past the disused colliery it is worth looking for Northern Wheatears, Black Redstart and Great Grey Shrike. Rarities here have included Richard’s Pipit on the colliery spoil mounds. 

From the metal footbridge you can continue by several routes, if you take any route to the N you will after a short time come to Fison’s Road, the main limestone road that runs E-W across the centre of the reserve. Along this road to your S there is heather and birch scrub and to the N a series of large shallow lagoons (flooded workings), made as part of the restoration project after peat extraction ceased in 2001 to provide optimal conditions for sphagnum growth. The birding along the road and around the lagoons is good at any time of year and all day can be spent carefully checking this area using the raised paths for access and the peat observation mounds that dot the area. 

Depending on time of year many species can occur, in winter look for Hen Harrier and the occasional Marsh Harrier, though the latter are present all through summer. Check the often large gull roost for rarer species, and the large flocks of ducks, mainly Mallard, Teal, Northern Shoveler, Eurasian Wigeon and Northern Pintail for other species. On passage there are large movements of Meadow Pipits, wagtails, hirundines and Common Swift, some remaining throughout summer. Along the road look for Whinchats and Stonechats and on summer nights try for European Nightjars (EN do guided nightjar walks see below). Rarities here have included Lesser Yellowlegs, White-rumped Sandpiper, Temminck’s Stint, Pectoral Sandpiper and Caspian Tern. Further N and a little E in this area, is the area known as Shoulder o’ Mutton, where in 1974 a Killdeer was found and watched by several observers. 

Will Pits wood, Thorne Moors

Heading further E you will reach the willow and birch carr woodland of Will Pits. There are many paths through here. In summer this is the best area for Common Nightingales and check the tit flocks for Lesser-spotted Woodpecker. At the east end of the wood you reach the ‘T’ junction of the road and the large Swinefleet Warping Drain. Going N you can pass the wood then take one of 2 trams back W to the lagoons, in the marsh alongside these trams good numbers of Jack Snipe winter. A Stone Curlew was found along here in recent years. If instead of going along the tram W you continue to the N edge you can walk along the peat birding the peripheral woodlands. From the road ‘T’ junction at Will Pits you can also head S, past the wood and EN maintenance shed to Will Pits Scrape, which is always worth a look (recently White-fronted Goose). Going further S takes you past an area of birch scrub called Pony Bridge Marsh, where Bluethroats (White-spotted) bred one year and return for several other years in succession. These are the extracts from the Annual Reports

'1996 Bluethroat Luscinia svecica Listed by the Rare Breeding Birds Panel. On the late afternoon of 2nd June, Martin Limbert located, at first by a persistent ‘chip’ call, a male ‘White-spotted’ Bluethroat L.c. cyanecula at an area of stunted and burnt over birch scrub along a track on Pony Bridge Marsh close to Angle Drain. ML informed BPW who arrived alone at 19.30hrs, and immediately located the male close-by, a second much duller Bluethroat appeared some distance behind the first bird and on the very brief (unfocused) views was either another duller male or a female. PCR and JMR then arrived and viewed both birds. Further detailed observations revealed that two pairs were actually present and that both pairs raised two broods; there was also an unmated third male present. The last bird, which was a male, was seen on 31st July. This is the first known breeding of this race in Britain and the only known nesting of Bluethroats in England. A full account appears in Bluethroats at Thorne: an Observational Diary (ML & PCR).

1997 Bluethroat Luscinia svecica Listed by the Rare Breeding Birds Panel. Two male ‘White-spotted’ Bluethroats L.c. cyanecula appeared on Thorne Moors again at Pony Bridge Marsh on 6th April and remained holding territories until 22nd June, but no breeding took place due to an absence of females (ML, BPW, PCR, JMR et. al.). A full account appears in Bluethroats at Thorne: an Observational Diary (ML & PCR).

1998 Bluethroat Luscinia svecica A lone male ‘White-spotted’ Bluethroat L.c. cyanecula was seen on 29th March again at Pony Bridge Marsh, and remained until 30th June, but again no breeding took place since it was the only bird (ML, BPW, PCR, JMR et. al.). A full account appears in Bluethroats at Thorne: an Observational Diary (ML & PCR).

1999 Bluethroat Luscinia svecica For the fourth year in succession ‘White-spotted’ Bluethroats L.c. cyanecula appeared on Thorne Moors. A lone male was present at Pony Bridge Marsh from 30th March until 1st April only (ML, PCR). A full account appears in Bluethroats at Thorne: an Observational Diary (ML & PCR).'

Obviously these Bluethroat records were not included in the printed reports of the time because of the species listing by the Rare Breeding Birds Panel. The records have been retro-fitted in.

Further S still is the flooded willow and birch area of Pony Bridge Wood at the SE corner. Here you can walk around the wood or take the tram on the N side heading back W. As you head W the wood becomes birch scrub, here and the central area towards the road are good for European Nightjars, and Long-eared Owls. Coming to the SW corner look out for the odd Tree Pipit, you will then reach the oak and lime wood of Woodpecker Corner, good for woodpeckers and Treecreeper. Along the boundary drain of the W edge heading back towards the colliery look for Green Sandpiper in the drain and marsh. Rarities here have included White-tailed Eagle and Night Heron. 

By now the colliery mounds will be in view and the large reedbeds and hawthorn scrub will produce a good selection of finches and thrushes (big roosts in winter), buntings, warblers and tits, including Willow Tit. Bullfinches are frequent here as are Reed Buntings along the field edges. 

From the metal footbridge at the entrance to the reserve an alternative route is to go straight E along a long tram for a couple of km until you reach the centre of the moors where there is a metal observation platform. This platform is very popular for watching raptors, especially the always entertaining Hobbies in summer, also in summer Marsh Harriers and quartering Long-eared Owls (at night mostly) are present. Any time of year can be good for Peregrine, though these are more often encountered around the lagoons, Common Buzzards are sometimes seen as well and Eurasian Sparrowhawks and Common Kestrel are frequent. In winter look out for Merlin and Hen Harrier. 

Threats include groundwater extraction and a proposed 25 wind turbines. 

Guided Walks: 


Thorne & Hatfield Moors Conservation Forum: 


Species Notes

A total of c.6500 species (all classes) have been recorded for both moors combine 4211 species on Thorne and 2237 species on Hatfield, 167 are Red Data Book listed.(Note: these figures are now out of date following the new insect list).

To view annual reports to Humberhead Peatlands NNR go here Annual Reports, Papers 


This list follows The British List (BOU, 2002), with the exception of the addition of Yellow-legged Gull, and includes all species acceptably recorded from the mid-eighteenth century to the end of 2003. There are 224 species. 

  • Little Grebe Tachybaptus ruficollis
  • Great Crested Grebe Podiceps cristatus
  • Black-necked Grebe Podiceps nigricollis
  • Northern Gannet Morus bassanus
  • Great Cormorant Phalacrocorax carbo
  • Shag Phalacrocorax carbo
  • Night Heron Nycticorax nycticorax
  • Great Bittern Botaurus stellaris
  • Little Egret Egretta garzetta
  • Grey Heron Ardea cinerea
  • White Stork Ciconia ciconia
  • Eurasian Spoonbill Platalea leucorodia
  • Mute Swan Cygnus olor
  • Tundra Swan Cygnus columbianus
  • Whooper Swan Cygnus cygnus
  • Pink-footed Goose Anser brachyrhynchus
  • White-fronted Goose Anser albifrons
  • Greylag Goose Anser anser
  • Canada Goose Branta canadensis
  • Barnacle Goose Branta leucopsis
  • Brent Goose Branta bernicla
  • Ruddy Shelduck Tandorna ferruginea
  • Common Shelduck Tadorna tadorna
  • Eurasian Wigeon Anas penelope
  • Gadwall Anas strepera
  • Common Teal Anas crecca
  • Mallard Anas platyrhynchos
  • Pintail Anas acuta
  • Garganey Anas querquedula
  • Northern Shoveler Anas clypeata
  • Red-crested Pochard Netta rufina
  • Common Pochard Aythya ferina
  • Tufted Duck Aythya fuligula
  • Greater Scaup Aythya marila
  • Common Eider Somateria mollissima
  • Long-tailed Duck Clangula hyemalis
  • Common Goldeneye Bucephala clangula
  • Smew Mergellus albellus
  • Red-breasted Merganser Mergus serrator
  • Goosander Mergus merganser
  • Ruddy Duck Oxyura jamaicensis
  • European Honey-buzzard Pernis apivorus
  • Black Kite Milvus migrans
  • Red Kite Milvus milvus
  • White-tailed Eagle Haliaeetus albicilla
  • Marsh Harrier Circus aeruginosus
  • Hen Harrier Circus cyaneus
  • Montagu's Harrier Circus pygargus
  • Northern Goshawk Accipiter gentilis
  • Eurasian Sparrowhawk Accipiter nisus
  • Common Buzzard Buteo buteo
  • Rough-legged Buzzard Buteo lagopus
  • Osprey Pandion haliaetus
  • Common Kestrel Falco tinnunculus
  • Red-footed Falcon Falco vespertinus
  • Merlin Falco columbarius
  • Hobby Falco subbuteo
  • Gyr Falcon Falco rusticolus
  • Peregrine Falcon Falco peregrinus
  • Black Grouse Tetrao tetrix
  • Red-legged Partridge Alectoris rufa
  • Grey Partridge Perdix perdix
  • Common Quail Coturnix coturnix
  • Common Pheasant Phasianus colchicus
  • Water Rail Rallus aquaticus
  • Spotted Crake Porzana porzana
  • Corn Crake Crex crex
  • Moorhen Gallinula chloropus
  • Common Coot Fulica atra
  • Common Crane Grus grus
  • Oystercatcher Haematopus ostralegus
  • Avocet Recurvirostra avosetta
  • Stone-curlew Burhinus oedicnemus
  • Little Ringed Plover Charadrius dubius
  • Great Ringed Plover Charadrius hiaticula
  • Killdeer Plover Charadrius vociferus
  • Dotterel Charadrius morinellus
  • European Golden Plover Pluvialis apricaria
  • Grey Plover Pluvialis squatarola
  • Northern Lapwing Vanellus vanellus
  • Red Knot Calidris canutus
  • Sanderling Calidris alba
  • Little Stint Calidris minuta
  • Temminck's Stint Calidris temminckii
  • White-rumped Sandpiper Calidris fuscicollis
  • Pectoral Sandpiper Calidris melanotos
  • Curlew Sandpiper Calidris ferruginea
  • Purple Sandpiper Calidris maritima
  • Dunlin Calidris alpina
  • Ruff Philomachus pugnax
  • Jack Snipe Lymnocryptes minimus
  • Common Snipe Gallinago gallinago
  • Woodcock Scolopax rusticola
  • Black-tailed Godwit Limosa limosa
  • Bar-tailed Godwit Limosa lapponica
  • Whimbrel Numenius phaeopus
  • Eurasian Curlew Numenius arquata
  • Spotted Redshank Tringa erythropus
  • Common Redshank Tringa totanus
  • Common Greenshank Tringa nebularia
  • Lesser Yellowlegs Tringa flavipes
  • Green Sandpiper Tringa ochropus
  • Wood Sandpiper Tringa glareola
  • Common Sandpiper Actitis hypoleucos
  • Turnstone Arenaria interpres
  • Arctic Skua Stercorarius parasiticus
  • Mediterranean Gull Larus melanocephalus
  • Little Gull Larus minutus
  • Black-headed Gull Larus ridibundus
  • Common Gull Larus canus
  • Lesser Black-backed Gull Larus fuscus
  • Herring Gull Larus argentatus
  • Yellow-legged Gull Larus cachinnans
  • Iceland Gull Larus glaucoides
  • Glaucous Gull Larus hyperboreus
  • Great Black-backed Gull Larus marinus
  • Kittiwake Rissa tridactyla
  • Caspian Tern Sterna caspia
  • Sandwich Tern Sterna sandvicensis
  • Common Tern Sterna hirundo
  • Arctic Tern Sterna paradisaea
  • Little Tern Sterna albifrons
  • Black Tern Chlidonias niger
  • Atlantic Puffin Fratercula arctica
  • Pallas`s Sandgrouse Syrrhaptes paradoxus
  • Rock Dove Columba livia
  • Stock Dove Columba oenas
  • Wood Pigeon Columba palumbus
  • Collared Dove Streptopelia decaocto
  • Turtle Dove Streptopelia turtur
  • Common Cuckoo Cuculus canorus
  • Barn Owl Tyto alba
  • Little Owl Athene noctua
  • Tawny Owl Strix aluco
  • Long-eared Owl Asio otus
  • Short-eared Owl Asio flammeus
  • European Nightjar Caprimulgus europaeus
  • Common Swift Apus apus
  • Common Kingfisher Alcedo atthis
  • Hoopoe Upupa epops
  • Wryneck Jynx torquilla
  • Green Woodpecker Picus viridis
  • Great Spotted Woodpecker Dendrocopos major
  • Lesser Spotted Woodpecker Dendrocopos minor
  • Wood Lark Lullula arborea
  • Sky Lark Alauda arvensis
  • Sand Martin Riparia riparia
  • Barn Swallow Hirundo rustica
  • House Martin Delichon urbica
  • Richard's Pipit Anthus novaeseelandiae
  • Tree Pipit Anthus trivialis
  • Meadow Pipit Anthus pratensis
  • Rock Pipit Anthus petrosus
  • Yellow Wagtail Motacilla flava
  • Grey Wagtail Motacilla cinerea
  • Pied Wagtail Motacilla alba
  • 'White' Wagtails M.a. alba
  • Bohemian Waxwing Bombycilla garrulus
  • Wren Troglodytes troglodytes
  • Hedge Accentor Prunella modularis
  • Robin Erithacus rubecula
  • Rufous Nightingale Luscinia megarhynchos
  • Bluethroat Luscinia svecica cyanecula
  • Black Redstart Phoenicurus ochruros
  • Common Redstart Phoenicurus phoenicurus
  • Whinchat Saxicola rubetra
  • Common Stonechat Saxicola torquata
  • Northern Wheatear Oenanthe oenanthe
  • Ring Ouzel Turdus torquatus
  • Blackbird Turdus merula
  • Fieldfare Turdus pilaris
  • Song Thrush Turdus philomelos
  • Redwing Turdus iliacus
  • Mistle Thrush Turdus viscivorus
  • Grasshopper Warbler Locustella naevia
  • Sedge Warbler Acrocephalus schoenobaenus
  • Reed Warbler Acrocephalus scirpaceus
  • Lesser Whitethroat Sylvia curruca
  • Common Whitethroat Sylvia communis
  • Garden Warbler Sylvia borin
  • Blackcap Sylvia atricapilla
  • Yellow-browed Warbler Phylloscopus inornatus
  • Wood Warbler Phylloscopus sibilatrix
  • Common Chiffchaff Phylloscopus collybita
  • Willow Warbler Phylloscopus trochilus
  • Goldcrest Regulus regulus
  • Firecrest Regulus ignicapillus
  • Spotted Flycatcher Muscicapa striata
  • Pied Flycatcher Ficedula hypoleuca
  • Bearded Tit Panurus biarmicus
  • Long-tailed Tit Aegithalos caudatus
  • Willow Tit Parus montanus
  • Coal Tit Parus ater
  • Blue Tit Parus caeruleus
  • Great Tit Parus major
  • Eurasian Treecreeper Certhia familiaris
  • Golden Oriole Oriolus oriolus
  • Red-backed Shrike Lanius collurio
  • Great Grey Shrike Lanius excubitor
  • Eurasian Jay Garrulus glandarius
  • Magpie Pica pica
  • Eurasian Jackdaw Corvus monedula
  • Rook Corvus frugilegus
  • Carrion Crow Corvus corone
  • Hooded Crow Corvus cornix
  • Common Starling Sturnus vulgaris
  • House Sparrow Passer domesticus
  • Tree Sparrow Passer montanus
  • Common Chaffinch Fringilla coelebs
  • Brambling Fringilla montifringilla
  • Greenfinch Carduelis chloris
  • Goldfinch Carduelis carduelis
  • Siskin Carduelis spinus
  • Linnet Carduelis cannabina
  • Twite Carduelis flavirostris
  • Lesser Redpoll Carduelis cabaret
  • Mealy Redpoll Carduelis flammea
  • Arctic Redpoll Carduelis hornemanni
  • Common Crossbill Loxia curvirostra
  • Common Bullfinch Pyrrhula pyrrhula
  • Hawfinch Coccothraustes coccothraustes
  • Lapland Longspur Calcarius lapponicus
  • Snow Bunting Plectrophenax nivalis
  • Yellowhammer Emberiza citrinella
  • Reed Bunting Emberiza schoeniclus
  • Corn Bunting Miliaria calandra

Appendix. Category D and E (incomplete) The following are separate to the foregoing list and form no part of the Thorne Moors species total.

D. Species that would otherwise appear in the main list, except there is reasonable doubt that they have ever occurred in a natural state. E. Species that are escapes etc. and have not occurred in a wild state.
  • Bar-headed Goose Anser indicus
Only record on 6th December 1971.
  • Red-tailed Hawk Buteo jamaicensis
Only record on 14th and 2lst January 1996.
  • Harris Hawk Parabuteo unicinctus
Observed flying in 'Middle Moor' area in summer 2000, the bird had jesses (RW).
  • Cockatiel Nymphicus hollandicus
Only record on 26th December 1997.
  • Budgerigar Melopsittacus undulates
Only record one at Inkle Moor on an unrecorded date in 1970s.
  • Lovebird Agapornis spp.
At Will Pits Scrape on 10th August 2001, and provisionally identified as Nyasa Lovebird Agapornis lilianae.
  • Common Waxbill Estrilda astrild
Only record of a juvenile at west end of Jones Cable on 20th June 1983.
  • Oriole Icterus spp.
(Colin Wall) 

Mammals For both moors a total of 25 species of mammal have been recorded, 10 are RDB. Both moors are well known strongholds of the Water Vole, and studies and management work to help this fastest declining British mammal is ongoing.
  • Western Hedgehog Erinaceus europaeus
  • Common Shrew Sorex araneus
  • Pygmy Shrew Sorex minutus
  • Water Shrew Neomys fodiens
  • Mole Talapa europaea
  • Whiskered Bat Myotis mystacinus
  • Daubenton’s Bat Myotis daubentonii
  • Common Pipistrelle Pipistrellus pipistrellus
  • Noctule Bat Nyctalus noctula
  • Red Fox Vulpes vulpes
  • Stoat Mustela erminea
  • Weasel Mustela nivalis
  • American Mink Mustela lutreola (introduced)
  • Badger Meles meles
  • Reeves’ Muntjac Muntiacus reevesi (introduced)
  • Red Deer Cervus elaphus
  • Roe Deer Capreolus capreolus
  • Grey Squirrel Sciurus carolinensis (introduced)
  • Bank Vole Clethrionomys glareolus
  • Water Vole Arviola terrestris
  • Field Vole Microtus agrestis
  • Wood Mouse Apodemus sylvaticus
  • Brown Rat Rattus norvegicus
  • Brown Hare Lepus campensis
  • Rabbit Oryctolagus coniculus

  • Grass Snake Natrix natrix
  • Adder Vipera berus
  • Common Lizard Lacerta vivipara
  • Smooth Newt Triturus vulgaris
  • Great-crested Newt Triturus cristatus
  • Common Toad Bufo bufo
  • Common Frog Rana temporaria
Great-crested Newt is no longer found on Thorne Moors. 

The following list of Thorne Moors fish is taken from THMCF Technical Report No. 13, by Martin Limbert. Many are introduced.
  • European Eel
  • Pike
  • Atlantic Salmon
  • Goldfish
  • Carp
  • Common Bream
  • Roach
  • Rudd
  • Tench
  • Three-spined Stickleback
  • Ten-spined Stickleback
  • Eurasian Perch

Invertebrates The huge invertebrate list stands at 4790 species (a quarter of the British list), placing it 3rd highest in rank of species for Britain after the New Forest and Windsor Great Park. The list includes 250 scarce species and 30+ Red Data species (including Bembidium humeral (RDB1), Curimopsis nigrita (RDB1) and Phaonia jaroschewskii (RDB2)) (www.thmcf.org/index.htm). 

A new book treats all the invertebrates of the area and is available from Thorne and Hatfield Moors Conservation Forum. The book includes some excellent colour artwork by the author. Skidmore, P. (2007) An Inventory of the Invertebrates of Thorne and Hatfield Moors. Thorne and Hatfield Conservation Forum, Doncaster. £15.00 

Butterflies of Thorne Moors 

Hesperiidae (skippers) 

  • Small Skipper Thymelicus sylvestris
  • Large Skipper Ochlodes venata
  • Dingy Skipper Erynnis tages
  • Grizzled Skipper Pyrgus malvae

Pieridae (whites and yellows) 

  • Clouded Yellow Colias croceus
  • Brimstone Gonepteryx rhamni
  • Large White Pieris brassicae
  • Small White Pieris rapae
  • Green-veined White Pieris napi
  • Orange-tip Anthocharis cardamines

Lycaenidae (blues, coppers and hairstreaks) 

  • Green Hairstreak Callophrys rubi
  • Small Copper Lycaena phlaeas
  • Silver-studded Blue Plebejus argus
  • Holly Blue Celastrina argiolus
  • Common Blue Polyommatus icarus

Nymphalidae (nyphalids-brush-footed butterflies) 

  • Red Admiral Vanessa atalanta
  • Painted Lady Vanessa cardui
  • Small Tortoiseshell Aglais urticae
  • Peacock Inachis io
  • Comma Polygonum c-album
  • Dark-green Fritillary Argynnis aglaja

Satyridae (browns) 

  • Wall Brown Lasiommata megera
  • Grayling Hipparchia semele
  • Gatekeeper Pyronia tithonus
  • Meadow Brown Maniola jurtina
  • Small Heath Ceononympha pamphilus
  • Large Heath Ceononympha tullia
  • Ringlet Aphantopus hyperantus

Dragonflies and Damselflies 

Aeshnidae (Hawkers) 

  • Emperor Dragonfly Anax imperator
  • Brown Hawker Aeshna grandis
  • Southern Hawker Aeshna cyanea
  • Common Hawker Aeshna juncea
  • Scarce Hawker Aeshna mixta

Corduliidae (Emeralds) 

  • Downy Emerald Cordulia aenea

Libellulidae (Chasers and Darters) 

  • Four-spotted Chaser Libellula quadrimaculata
  • Broad-bodied Chaser Libellula depressa
  • Common Darter Sympetrum striolatum
  • Ruddy Darter Sympetrum sanguineum
  • Black Darter Sympetrum scoticum
  • [White-faced Darter Leucorrhinia dubia

  • Coenagiidae (Damselflies) 

  • Large Red Damselfly Pyrrhosoma nymphula
  • Blue-tailed Damselfly Ischnura elegans
  • Common Blue Damselfly Enallagma cyathigerum
  • Azure Damselfly Coenagrion puella

Lestidae (Damselflies) 

  • Emerald Damselfly Lestes sponsa
  • Agriidae (Damselflies) 

  • Banded Agrion Agrion splendens

Note: White-faced Dragonfly no longer occurs on Thorne Moors. Emperor Dragonflies and others may be rare. The Black Darter is listed as Sympetrum danae in The Insects of Thorne Moors (Sorby Record No.23 Supplement 1985, Skidmore, Limbert and Eversham). In the same journal the Hairy Dragonfly Brachytron pratense is listed in square brackets, showing it to have been an erroneous or unproven record. 

Flora For both moors combined 392 species of plant have been recorded, with at least 4 insectivorous species and 4 RDB (including one of the only sites in Britain for Greater Yellow Rattle). 

For further information about the Humberhead Peatlands National Nature Reserve and information on guided walks (European Nightjars included) please contact Kevin Bull, English Nature Site Manager, 2 Dykes Marsh Farm Cottages, Marsh Lane, near Moorends, Doncaster, South Yorkshire, DN8 4JT. Tel. 01405 740640. 


Eversham, B.C. (2000) SSSI boundaries of the Humberhead peatlands: ecological and geomorphological considerations in determining the boundaries of the Sites of Special Scientific Interest at Thorne and Hatfield Moors. Thorne & Hatfield Moors Conservation Forum Technical Report No. 6. 

Eversham, B.C., P. Skidmore and P.C. Buckland (1995) Invertebrates as indicators of lowland bogs in eastern England: some British bogs in a European context. In: P.T. Harding and I. Valovirta (editors) 9th Colloquium of the European Invertebrates Survey: Bioindicators at a pan-European Level. Helsinki, 3rd-4th September 1993. Institute of Terrestrial Ecology, Abbots Ripton. 

Limbert, M. and Roworth, P.C. (1999) Bluethroats at Thorne: an Observational Dairy, Doncaster and District Ornithological Society, Doncaster. 

Penny Anderson Associates (2000) Consultant Ecologists. 

Thorne and Hatfield Moors Conservation Forum 

Wainwright, B.P. (2004) Habitat Preferences of Rufous Nightingale Luscinia megarhynchus on Thorne Moors. Thorne & Hatfield Moors Conservation Forum Technical Report No. 11. 

Author: B.P. Wainwright. All lists originally produced by B.P. Wainwright, unless otherwise stated.