Cop Mere SSSI - WOODLAND (002)
Staff member responsible: PAUL CANDLIN
Unit Id: 1014815
Unit area (ha): 15.6934
Unit Status: Live Gridref: SJ 799 299
Condition (click for history): Unfavourable - Recovering Assessed by: HOLLAND, (TOM)
Last assessed: 03/11/2015 Last field visit: 13/08/2015
ISA Survey: View Surveys
Date of site check: Last CSM assessment: 03/11/2015
Condition assessment comment:

In 2012 it failed because of the woodland’s species composition – Now poplars make up >10% of the canopy and there is >5% cover of Himalayan balsam in the ground flora. Rhododendron makes up <5% of the under-storey, but it needs removing.

Although 1ha of poplars have been removed recently, I think the cover of poplars is still over 10%. Likewise the balsam.

The unit has a ground flora that is referable to W6 but eutraphents (Urtica, Phalaris, Epilobium and Glyceria) are abundant if not dominant (alongside the more interesting Filipendula, Angelica sylvestris, Chrysosplenium, Carex acutiformis, Phragmites, Carex paniculata and Equisetum that occur at low covers and moderate frequencies). If woodland and scrub cover was reduced, under a scheme to restore tall-herb fen, the high cover and frequency of these eutraphents might cause such fen to be assessed as unfavourable (measured against open fen targets). The source of any eutrophication could be the River Sow, or the effects of drying and drainage, or whatever management practices accompanied the poplar planting.

If W5 was the target for this area (and there are a few Carex paniculata tussocks below the Alnus and amongst the eutraphents), the unit would fail its ground flora target because of the high cover of non-W5 eutraphent species.

Number of adverse condition reasons: 0
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