Bowland Fells SSSI - Lee & Dunkenshaw Fells (014)
Staff member responsible: C2L Innovation & Support Team
Unit Id: 1011795
Unit area (ha): 541.3161
Unit Status: Live Gridref: SD 578 576
Main habitat: DWARF SHRUB HEATH - Upland
Condition and Comments (click for history): Unfavourable - Recovering Assessed by: HICKLING, (JON)
Last assessed: 29/09/2009 Last assessment field visit: 29/09/2009
ISA Survey: View Surveys
Date of last site check: Last CSM assessment: 29/09/2009
Estimated year unit will go Favourable: Confidence in estimate:
Comment: Both Lee and Dunkenshaw Fells continue to recover from the past effects of overgrazing. In particular areas of blanket bog on the lower most slopes of Lee Fell are responding to less grazing pressure, with abundant growths of sphagnum and other plant species such as cranberry and bog rosemary. Such areas are also becoming wetter through the deterioration of old grips in the area which are fast becoming non functional. Similiarly areas of dwarf shrub heath are now growing where acid grassland plant communities once floursihed. In this respect there are now few areas of localised overgrazing, except perhaps for the lower most slopes of Dunkenshaw Fell, which will take a long time to recover. Heather cover is otherwise now well in excess of 75% over 2/3's of the Fell with lower slopes attaining at least 25% cover of dwarf shrub heath plant communities. Areas of blanket bog on both middle and upper most slopes continue to be burnt and broken up into a mosaic of small cool burns on a 7-12 year burning cycle . The New track linking Grizedale Head with Birk Brow via Clougha blends well into the landscape and there are no obvious signs of damage/erosion occuring. The only area where heather cover is less than 25% is towards the bottom most part of Lee Fell close to the enclosure wall, where heather cover is between 10-25% cover due to the effects of localised grazing pressure. Otherwise the Fells are well vegetated in heather and other dwarf shrub communities and are recovering well as a direct result of reduced stocking levels brought about under Countryside Stewardship in the year 2001. Tarnbrook Fell on the other hand shows good signs of dwarf shrub heath growth on areas of blanket bog and dry heath having expanded in area and grown in height and stature since last monitored. Areas of heather on wet heath towards the bottom of the Fell have also expanded follwoing stock reductions in recent years.
Number of adverse condition reasons: 0
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