Broadmoor to Bagshot Woods and Heaths SSSI - BBONT (001)
Staff member responsible: DES SUSSEX
Unit Id: 1002540
Unit area (ha): 9.2861
Unit Status: Live Gridref: SU 855 628
Main habitat: DWARF SHRUB HEATH - Lowland
Condition and Comments (click for history): Unfavourable - No change Assessed by: SUSSEX, (DES)
Last assessed: 07/09/2017 Last assessment field visit: 31/07/2017
ISA Survey: View Surveys
Date of last site check: Last CSM assessment: 07/09/2017
Estimated year unit will go Favourable: Confidence in estimate:
Comment:

This SSSI unit includes 2 small areas either side of a road. The western area has about 1 ha of dry heath, with some secondary woodland. That area is fragmented from the remainder of the SSSI, being surrounded by roads and residential housing. The eastern area has a larger area of open habitat with a little over 4 ha of dry and wet heath, and mire, as well as mature coniferous woodland on the higher ground at the northern end of the unit. This area is continuous with the much larger areas of heathland to the east.

The overall extent of heath land has been more or less maintained, with a slight reduction on the western block, and slight increase on the eastern side.

The dry heath has some useful areas of dwarf shrubs, dominated by ling with bell heather and dwarf gorse being locally frequent. There is a generally low frequency and diversity of grasses and forbs on the dry heath – occasional Cladonia lichens, tormentil, cat’s-ear and wavy hair grass). There is quite good diversity in heather structure with scattered small and larger patches of pioneer growth (10-25%), as well as more extensive areas of building and mature heather (70-100%). There is excessively high cover (locally 20-50+%) of tall and dense invasive trees and scrub, and across the unit this scrub needs to be significantly reduced to meet SSSI targets. Common gorse is present as mature stands of value to birds- the cover of gorse is currently meeting targets. There is quite good representation of bare ground with a sunny aspect of high value to specialist insects.

The mire is dominated by tall dense purple moor-grass (exceeding SSSI targets with 50-60+% cover across much of the mire) which is growing unchecked to shade and smother other vegetation, and is also accumulating potentially damaging amounts of litter – this is a threat to the habitat condition and a reason for this habitat not meeting the SSSI objectives for this habitat. The mire has reasonable cover (locally 10+%) of bog mosses Sphagnum spp. but this is difficult to accurately assess as it is ‘hidden’ beneath the tall canopy cover of purple moor-grass, and as such at risk of being shaded out or smothered by grass litter. Bog myrtle, cross-leaved heath, creeping willow, bog asphodel, green-ribbed sedge, tormentil and cotton grass are all present and locally frequent or occasional. Parts of the mire have a locally high density of young birch saplings which pose another threat to habitat condition if they are allowed to grow unchecked.

The area has potential as a breeding habitat for the SPA Birds, and all 3 species have been previously recorded in low numbers from on or very close to the eastern area, although the unit has not been closely monitored in recent years and no accurate data is available.

Number of adverse condition reasons: 1
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