To the south of Bodmin in the heart of Cornwall’s unique countryside, Breney Common and Red Moor form part of the Helman Tor Cornwall Wildlife Trust Nature Reserve. Originally designated as a joint Site of Special Scientific Interest, Breney Common and Red Moor became designated sites in their own right in 1986.
Breney Common and Red Moor form a large wetland complex with a fascinating and complex history. The location of many of the ponds, wetland, and dry heath areas result from tin-streaming, one of the earliest methods used to extract tin from open cast mines. In more recent times the biggest challenge has been to remove and control excess scrub and tree cover, and create the infrastructure needed to allow extensive grazing of this landscape.
Breney Common has been identified as a Flagship Pond site because historically it has supported existing extensive areas of open water and wetland habitats with a wide variety of flora and fauna including priority freshwater species such as Pillwort Pilularia globulifera and Western Bladderwort Utricularia minor. As well as supporting interesting flora, the ponds and ditches across the site also support a large suite of dragonfly and damselfly species, including Small Red Damselfly Ceriagrion tenellum.
Red Moor was selected as a Flagship Pond site for similar reasons, because it has also supported rich and varied aquatic communities, although it has been several years since some of them have been recorded. Most significant are the historic records for Pillwort Pilularia globulifera, which we hope could be reinstated with management. The site is also known to support at least 13 dragonfly and damselfly species including the nationally scarce Blue-tailed Damselfly and other rare invertebrate species such as Hydrochus nitidicollis.
Accessibility: Some Flagship Pond sites are accessible to the public, and some are not. If in doubt, consult maps for rights of way, look online for site information, or contact the site manager, and follow any instructions on site. It is up to you to check whether you require permission to visit and access the ponds on a site.
Site owners/managers: Cornwall Wildlife Trust