William Sinclair Horticulture went to work on Salford Chat Moss, a 10,000-year-old mossland, without planning permission, said Lancashire Wildlife Trust. The company applied to Salford City Council last year to extend its peat extraction licence, which ran out in December, but said it received no response. The firm said it had resumed work two weeks ago to protect its investment in the site, according to a news report.
In the report, chief executive Bernard Burns said he employed 11 people to extract the peat and his company pumped £1m plus into the local economy every year.
Anne Selby, chief executive of Lancashire Wildlife Trust, condemned what she claimed was "blatant disregard for due process". She added: "We call on Salford and Wigan councils to step in and take enforcement action."
Salford said the request for the licence to be extended would be examined later this month.