Aqualate Mere SSSI - Fenny Area (049)
Staff member responsible: PAUL CANDLIN
Unit Id: 1028656
Unit area (ha): 5.7444
Unit Status: Live Gridref: SJ 764 203
Main habitat: NEUTRAL GRASSLAND - Lowland
Condition (click for history): Unfavourable - Recovering Assessed by: HOLLAND, (TOM)
Last assessed: 26/06/2014 Last field visit: 26/06/2014
ISA Survey: View Surveys
Date of site check: 14/03/2018 Last CSM assessment: 26/06/2014
  1. Invertebrate Assemblage

Favourable – see Andy Godfrey’s report.

  1. Variety of breeding bird species (70)

Comments as for unit 32


  1. S4 Phragmites australis swamp or M27 - Filipendula ulmaria - Angelica sylvestris mire

Fails on

  • High cover of scrub which is estimated at 30%.
  • High 30% cover of Litter


The high covers of Phalaris arundinacea (30%) and Glyceria maxima (20%) seem problematic to me. They indicate enrichment and they are both competitive species, growing as very species-poor monocultures. I’m not even sure that they support much wildlife. At least monocultures of Phragmites give a home to some warblers and other birds and invertebrates. However, the lowland wetland monitoring guidance says they are not negative indicators within many fen communities including the likely candidates for this unit S4 or M27.

The presence of Juncus subnodulosus and Carex disticha (e.g. at SJ76469 20336) amongst an overwhelming mass of Glyceria maxima suggests part of the vegetation might have affinities to S24.

Management suggestions

As indicated by the reasons for failing the condition assessment

  • some more scrub management and
  • some occasional cutting might be beneficial and help produce a more varied vegetation composition and vegetation structure.
  • Investigate the source of the nutrient enrichment suggested by the high cover of Phalaris and Glyceria maxima.
Number of adverse condition reasons: 0
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