Where to see wildlife

Goss Moor

Goss Moor is a national nature reserve a few miles outside of Bodmin, in the heart of Cornwall covering approximately 2.7 square miles. It’s also one of my favourite places in Cornwall. It’s next to the main road through Cornwall and has a busy cycle path, yet it also is a great place for seeing wildlife and if you know where to go it’s easy to avoid the crowds.

Water Lilly from above
Goss Moor is a wetland habitat and has several large ponds supporting a large rang of fauna and flora such as this Water Lilly.

Where to go

My favourite are on Goss Moor is the collection of lakes in the North West area, it’s a really diverse habitat and great for spotting wildlife, it’s also often very quiet.

The trails at Goss do get quite a lot of use and it is a wetland environment – so wear appropriate footwear, during the summer if it hasn’t rained for a few days then the paths on the map above are fine in walking trainers/shoes, otherwise walking boots are best.


You can see more of my photography from across Cornwall and Devon here.

A wetland habitat as diverse as Goss hosts a huge range of wildlife, the above were seen whilst just taking a leisurely walk around. If you explore Goss Moor you will find other habitats as well, from woodland to areas of open grassland and I have seen Owls in the area on a few occasions.


Goss moor is managed by Natural England’s Growing Goss Project which manages the habitat and monitors the wildlife. Goss is home to some important species such as the Marsh Fritillary butterfly which has been in rapid decline.

Footprint trap on water
A footprint trap

Goss Moor also hosts other fantastic species such as otters, although you’d be very lucky to see one. The picture above shows a clay footprint trap, there are a few of these across the site and for a long time I couldn’t work out what they were. A floating platform with an enclosed space on top with a clay plate inside, allows conservationists to record the footprints of any animals that pass through.

A White Pony on Goss Moor
Ponies and cattle are used to help manage the habitat on Goss Moor.

If you spend some time walking around Goss (which if you love wildlife I highly recommend) you’ll see a host of other wildlife related stuff out in the environment, footprint traps in the lower branches of trees to nest boxes. The Growing Goss Project is now part of the National Dormouse Monitoring Programme and you may see some of the boxes for the mice out on the site. Please do not disturb any of the equipment you might find, if you want to get involved they are often looking for volunteers and you can find out more about current projects on their FaceBook page here.

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