Broadmoor to Bagshot Woods and Heaths SSSI - CROWTHORN WOODS (011)
Staff member responsible: DES SUSSEX
Unit Id: 1026418
Unit area (ha): 503.5858
Unit Status: Live Gridref: SU 872 653
Main habitat: CONIFEROUS WOODLAND
Condition and Comments (click for history): Favourable Assessed by: SUSSEX, (DES)
Last assessed: 22/03/2017 Last assessment field visit: 22/03/2017
ISA Survey: View Surveys
Date of last site check: Last CSM assessment: 22/03/2017
Estimated year unit will go Favourable: Confidence in estimate:
Comment:

Units 7, 9, 10 and 11 of the SSSI are large areas of commercial plantation forestry, mainly coniferous. The interest features for these units are the breeding SPA birds, notably the nightjar and woodlark. Hobby is also an interest feature of the SSSI which would be expected to occupy some areas of these units.

The units all have other habitats of nature conservation interest, some of which contribute to the SSSI breeding bird interest. These include wet & dry heath, ponds & mires, mixed & broad-leaved woodland, and wide heathy forest rides.

Since the last assessment there has been a large amount of harvesting in units 7, 9 and 11. The Swinley Forest fire in 2011 burned areas of forest in units 10 & 11, which have been cleared and re-stocked. This has provided a significant area of open habitats/young plantations of value to the SPA birds as well stonechat, tree pipit, cuckoo and occasional redstart. It is considered that these habitats will remain useful for another 5-10 years. As such the forestry units are considered to be in favourable condition. Parts of units 9 and 11 have good sized areas of heath land under active restoration and management. These are being used by all 3 SPA species, as well as other specialist flora and fauna like the heath bedstraw, heath speedwell, adder, grayling and silver-studded blue butterflies.

There were 27 nightjar territories in the forestry compartments in 2015 and 34 in 2016. In both years this was well over 50% of the total for the SSSI (47 and 56).

There were 8 woodlark territories in the forestry compartments in 2015 and 11 in 2016. This was a significant contribution to the total for the SSSI (23 and 18) for those years. Early indications are that woodlark numbers in 2017 appear to be stable or increased from 2016, with a number of new areas now holding territories.

There is less suitable habitat for Dartford warbler within the forestry compartments, but this species does use them when local populations are doing well. As the species is still recovering from the population crash due to the cold winters in 2008/9 and 2009/10, it would not be expected that there would be many birds in the forestry compartments. However it is very encouraging that they have bred in low numbers (max 3 pairs) in units 9, 10 and 11 in the last 2 years.

The hobby is difficult to monitor but they are resident in the SSSI annually, and have been confirmed as breeding in these units in most years.

Data was kindly supplied by Thames Basin Heaths survey and monitoring team, as co-ordinated by 2J’s Ecology

Number of adverse condition reasons: 0
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