Broadmoor to Bagshot Woods and Heaths SSSI - POORS (006)
Staff member responsible: DES SUSSEX
Unit Id: 1002545
Unit area (ha): 78.1939
Unit Status: Live Gridref: SU 889 631
Main habitat: DWARF SHRUB HEATH - Lowland
Condition and Comments (click for history): Favourable Assessed by: SUSSEX, (DES)
Last assessed: 04/09/2017 Last assessment field visit: 01/08/2017
ISA Survey: View Surveys
Date of last site check: Last CSM assessment: 04/09/2017
Estimated year unit will go Favourable: Confidence in estimate:
Comment:

The unit includes extensive areas of dry heath, with peripheral areas of mixed woodland. The extent of the open heath land has been slightly increased by restoration from secondary woodland. Within the heath overall cover of dwarf shrubs is well within SSSI targets at over 50%, and across large areas it exceeds 70%. Ling is dominant, with bell heather frequent and locally abundant, as is dwarf gorse. Cross-leaved heath occurs on the small areas of damper habitat in the unit. The heather has good structural diversity with small and large patches of short pioneer growth frequent (generally 10-25% cover), and building/mature phase growth providing most of the cover (up to 80%); degenerate and dead heather are present in very small amounts. There is a good diversity of bare ground of value to invertebrates at various locations - exceeding the 1% target. Bare ground has been created through active management as well as occurring naturally on some slopes. Small areas of the unit have a localised abundance of purple moor-grass, with some resultant grass litter, but across the unit there is no evidence of accumulation of damaging amounts of plant litter, and where present it currently adds diversity rather than being a threat.

There is a fairly low diversity of other heath land plants. 3 species of Cladonia lichens are frequent in the dry heath, and there are also occasional occurrences of cat’s-ear, heath rush, centaury and others, with localised abundance of the grasses bristle bent and wavy hair grass.

European gorse is present across the unit as various sized stands, generally as low dense bushes of value to Dartford warblers. Overall cover and distribution of gorse is currently good and well within targets, with localised cover of 2-10% in heath land blocks.

Bracken is absent or very sparse across most of the unit (0-5% cover), and overall cover is within targets. However it is present on some slopes as large closed canopy stands where it has become dominant on areas of open heath and suppressed the dwarf shrubs. As such bracken is a potential threat to future habitat condition.

Invasive birch and pine are present as scattered young shrubs generally under 3m tall. Scrub cover in the heath land blocks is generally between 1-10% and as such the scrub adds value to the habitat and is within the SSSI targets. Small localised stands of pine scrub of about 15% cover are present and provide some habitat diversity of value to some birds, but this will suppress the heather if allowed to mature. The invasive scrub is being actively managed to maintain the habitat conditions. There are no signs of invasive non-native species being present or a current issue.

The area has recently improved as a breeding habitat for SPA Birds – Dartford warbler, nightjar and woodlark. The numbers of territories of all 3 species present in 2016 and 2017 confirms that the area is an important part of the SSSI and SPA for the specialist heath land bird assemblage.

Number of adverse condition reasons: 4
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