Muggleswick, Stanhope and Edmundbyers Commons and Blanchland Moor SSSI - Long Hill (027)
Staff member responsible: AMY CHRISTIE
Unit Id: 1028523
Unit area (ha): 290.5159
Unit Status: Live Gridref: NY 965 423
Main habitat: DWARF SHRUB HEATH - Upland
Condition and Comments (click for history): Unfavourable - Recovering Assessed by: PURVIS, (KAREN)
Last assessed: 05/03/2010 Last assessment field visit: 05/03/2010
ISA Survey: View Surveys
Date of last site check: Last CSM assessment: 05/03/2010
Estimated year unit will go Favourable: Confidence in estimate:
Comment: The condition assessment was carried out in October 2009. In the southern half of the unit the dry heath is fragmented into small island of heather, which shows signs of suppression from grazing and in some instances from outbreaks of heather beetle. The extent of the heath improves into the northern half of the unit, however the diversity of species overall is poor, with monocultures of heather in most quadrats. There was some evidence of burning into rushes; however this was only noted on one occasion. The areas of blanket bog to the north east of the unit are generally in a favourable condition with a good diversity of species. There are a number grips throughout the unit, especially near the shooting box, which are still active. There is evidence of stress from Heather Beetle on some of the areas, particularly Gibbs Hill, where almost 80% of the heather plants have been affected. In addition there is some suppression from grazing on the pockets of bog to the south of the unit. There were no signs of inappropriate burning on the blanket bog. Overall the unit is unfavourable due to the suppression and fragmentation of dry heath and the active drainage on the blanket bog; however an HLS agreement has now been agreed which addresses these issues therefore the unit is assessed as unfavourable recovering.
Number of adverse condition reasons: 1
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