Upton Heath SSSI - PINE CLUMP (016)
Staff member responsible: SUE MOORE
Unit Id: 1005810
Unit area (ha): 7.0873
Unit Status: Live Gridref: SY 987 935
Main habitat: DWARF SHRUB HEATH - Lowland
Condition and Comments (click for history): Unfavourable - Recovering Assessed by: MOORE, (SUE)
Last assessed: 25/03/2015 Last assessment field visit: 18/12/2014
ISA Survey: View Surveys
Date of last site check: Last CSM assessment: 20/03/2015
Estimated year unit will go Favourable: Confidence in estimate:
Comment:

The unit is benefitting from being grazed as part of the wider SSSI under HLS. Direct management under the HLS agreement is showing good results with regard to controlling birch regeneration, bramble, rhododendron across the site. However, at the time of the condition assessment it was evident that the eastern section of the unit requires more scrub management to reduce the area of pine saplings. The western section of the unit could also still benefit from further pine/birch clearance or thinning. Gaultheria was not seen during the assessment but is known to be still present.

Some reduction in the area of bare ground in the central section of the unit is required however, vegetation is still recovering from the extensive pine clearance carried out in this area. Heather and other dwarf shrub cover, including gorse, is increasing and a better mosaic of heather stages is now present on the site.

The unit is still affected by adverse impacts of recreational use, including enrichment and disturbance; however Sand lizards and a pair of breeding Nightjar have been recorded in this unit of the SSSI since the last assessment in 2009. The unit is in recovering condition.

Number of adverse condition reasons: 3
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