Conservation work leads to food for Santa’s reindeer

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If Rudolph and Santa’s other reindeers are feeling peckish on Christmas Day they can visit the mosslands of the North West for a feed.

If Rudolph and Santa’s other reindeers are feeling peckish on Christmas Day they can visit the mosslands of the North West for a feed.

For Lancashire Wildlife Trust’s conservation work has led to a resurgence in reindeer lichen on peat bogs in Garstang.

Reindeer lichen is an important food for reindeer – or caribou – in areas of Arctic tundra in Scandinavia and Canada.

Sometimes called reindeer moss and caribou moss, this lichen stands out from the greener areas of sphagnum moss as it is almost white. It grows at just three or five millimetres a year and is susceptible to pollution.

Lancashire Wildlife Trust Senior Campaigns Officer Alan Wright said: “It is strange to come upon reindeer lichen on the mosses because it is so different from other plants on the moss because of its light colour.

“I recently found lots of this lichen on Winmarleigh Moss near Garstang but it has also been seen on Astley Moss in Greater Manchester and Heysham Moss in North Lancs.”