Wetlands are home to several specialist species, some even able to survive feeding on plants in standing water.

However, other vegetation is frequently present, sometimes with patches of carr woodland or drier land, which also support a wider diversity of species. Lowland raised bogs and upland blanket bog are home to many species, for example the Large Heath. The Swallowtail is only found in the Norfolk fenland of Britain.

Fens and Marshes

Key features:

  • Waterlogged soils with fen vegetation such as reeds and sedges
  • Larval food plants such as Milk-parsley, Water Dock and Common Reed
  • Presence of carr woodland with buckthorn, alder and sallow

Characteristic butterflies: Swallowtail

Characteristic moths: Marsh Carpet, Reed Leopard, Fenn's Wainscot, White-mantled Wainscot, Flame Wainscot, Reed Dagger


Key features:

  • Waterlogged peaty soils
  • Larval food plants such as Hare’s-tail Cottongrass, Common Cottongrass and Marsh Violet
  • Heather and heath on drier areas

Characteristic butterflies: Small Pearl-bordered Fritillary, Large Heath

Characteristic moths: Oak Eggar, Emperor Moth, Haworth's Minor, Rosy Marsh Moth, Marsh Oblique-barred, Purple-bordered Gold, Arget & Sable, Manchester Treble-bar