Upton Heath SSSI - PONY PADDOCK (006)
Staff member responsible: SUE MOORE
Unit Id: 1005796
Unit area (ha): 4.6895
Unit Status: Live Gridref: SY 988 952
Main habitat: DWARF SHRUB HEATH - Lowland
Date of last site check: 09/09/2016 Checked by: Admin Assessor
Comment: D2017/00052080
Condition and Comments (click for history): Unfavourable - Recovering Assessed by: NICK SQUIRRELL
Last assessed: 06/05/2009 Last assessment field visit: 06/05/2009
ISA Survey: View Surveys
Last CSM assessment: 06/05/2009
Estimated year unit will go Favourable: 2024 Confidence in estimate: Low
Comment: Majority of unit tightly grazed acid grassland but with some substantial blocks of mature scrub and the occasional clump of birch. A HLS agreement in place since 2008 aims to enhance the existing acid grassland interest and restore that interest on some areas previously lost to scrub. The scrub management programme initiated winter 2008/2009 needs to be sustained with further in-roads made into breaking up patches of gorse, bracken and bramble, together with some thinning of hawthorn and birch. Appropriate grazing pressure is critical to improving unit condition; the poor, sparse sward is particularly prone to over-grazing and on-going surveillance is needed to ensure this does not take place. Areas of enrichment through historical over grazing and horse keeping including areas of nettles will need to be reduced. The site is important for feeding nightjar, Hobby and may become important for woodlark. There are good areas of bare sand which will be suitable for sand lizard breeding.
Number of adverse condition reasons: 2
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