Warmwell Heath SSSI - Outer Heath South (001)
Staff member responsible: ANDREW NICHOLSON
Unit Id: 1006728
Unit area (ha): 5.2843
Unit Status: Live Gridref: SY 754 873
Main habitat: DWARF SHRUB HEATH - Lowland
Date of last site check: Checked by:
Condition and Comments (click for history): Unfavourable - No change Assessed by: ANDREW NICHOLSON
Last assessed: 29/11/2010 Last assessment field visit: 29/11/2010
ISA Survey: View Surveys
Last CSM assessment: 29/11/2010
Estimated year unit will go Favourable: Confidence in estimate:
Reason for adverse condition: AGRICULTURE - UNDERGRAZING,
Comment: Some good pony grazing has occurred this year on this unit which is improving the condition of the mires and fen in some areas, but further scrub control is a priority, particularly in western areas. The eastern area is dominated by M25 mire with dominant Molinia, frequent Myrica gale and locally frequent Schoenus nigricans. At the far eastern end the mire is rank (70 - 90 cms) and Rhododendron is encroaching in one area from raised drier ground, however at the western end of this M25 stand pony grazing has improved the vegetation, which grades into wet heath with abundant Erica tetralix. The central area of the unit contains S3 Carex paniculata sedge-swamp, which was warterlogged at the time of site visit but showed extensive signs of pony grazing, with some grazing probably also occurring from deer. C. paniculata is abundant, with frequent Carex acutiformis, locally frequent Glyceria fluitans and occasional Potamogeton polygonifolius, Pulicaria dysenterica, Iris pseudacorus and Galium palustre. Anagallis tenella was seen in one area where the S3 graded into M25. Some birch clearance has occurred here, but further control of young sallows would be beneficial, and also of the Rhododendron where it is encroaching in one area. The western part of the unit has patches of M25 mire but has the greatest problems with scrub encroachment, in particular by birch, common gorse and sallows, and bracken is also locally abundant. This area would particularly benefit from increased levels of scrub control followed by adequate grazing. A deep leat currently divides this part of the unit. Birch woodland with occasional oaks occurs at the far western end of the unit. Unit condition has improved since the previous visit but scrub control is still needed. Hydrological issues may soon be resolved through a planning application currently being considered covering the quarry area, together with a renewed abstraction licence application.
Number of adverse condition reasons: 5
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