Flushes: Flint Clough
Flushes are small-scale wetland habitats that characteristically occur in cloughs and along river valleys in the main moorland areas. Some are basins with small pools, some have faster flowing springs and some house seeping or swampy springs. In general, they can be classed as either acid or basic (alkaline), depending on the water that feeds them.
Acidic flushes are the most widespread and develop below the margins of blanket peat and below gritstone edges. Such flushes tend to be carpeted by sphagnum moss, alongside soft rush and small sedges such as star sedge and carnation sedge.
Where pools of water remain, pondweeds may also be present. Acidic flushes can also support other plant species, including cross-leaved heath, cranberry, round-leaved sundew and bog asphodel.
Basic flushes, although more restricted in occurrence, support a wider range of species. These include a range of mosses, liverworts and sedges as well as plants such as golden-leaved saxifrage, meadowsweet, wild angelica and marsh pennywort.
Birds such as reed buntings (a key biodiversity species), curlew, lapwing and snipe feed and nest in flush vegetation, whilst a number of invertebrates, including craneflies, moths, hoverflies, weevils and beetles can also be found.