Goss Moor NNR is situated in a broad relatively flat, valley basin which forms the headwaters of the River Fal.
Main habitats: Peatland, Lowland Heath
Area: 482 ha
Site map: Nature on the Map
The reserve is a unique combination of wetland habitats and more characteristic western dry heath communities.
The site's wetland habitats - including fen meadow, bog, wet heath and open water - are a result of extensive mining operations that have been carried out in the area. Alluvial tin deposits have been mined locally since the Bronze Age, but the site has been most influenced by gravel extraction that ceased in 1960.
Areas of heath on the site support heather and bell heather with bristle bent and purple moor grass, while wetter areas support lesser butterfly orchid, hemlock water dropwort and the scarce yellow centaury. More acidic areas are home to bog plants like heath spotted orchid, marsh St John's wort and the scarce marsh clubmoss.
Breeding birds on the site include nightjar, reed bunting, linnet, spotted flycatcher, bullfinch and song thrush. Winter visitors include hen harrier and great grey shrike.
A number of scarce invertebrates are found at the site: the small red and variable damselfly; butterflies such as the silver-studded blue, marsh and small pearl bordered fritillary; and moths such as the narrow-bordered bee hawk and double line.
The best time to visit the site is between the months of May and August, for dragonflies, flowers and heathland.
The 7 mile circular multi-use trail is a new safe, free route providing a chance to explore the rich natural and industrial heritage of Goss Moor National Nature Reserve. There is a welcome map: (1.27mb) and information guide: (1.87mb) available for this Trail, produced in partnership with Cornwall Council.
Cycles can be hired from Screech Owl Centre Cycle Hire, adjacent to the Trail. Telephone no. 01726 860182.
The reserve is mid-way between the towns of St Columb Road and Roche (5 km to the west and east respectively). The north of the reserve is crossed by the A30.
There are also additional and linking routes on neighbouring Tregoss Moor.
By car access to the reserve is via minor roads from the A30, A391, B3274 and B3279. There is a car park near the junction between A30 and the B3274.
The nearest refreshment facilities are in local villages and A30 service stations. There is a portable toilet for public use on site.