Aqualate Mere SSSI - Western Fen Meadows (050)
Staff member responsible: PAUL CANDLIN
Unit Id: 1028661
Unit area (ha): 23.6998
Unit Status: Live Gridref: SJ 762 205
Main habitat: NEUTRAL GRASSLAND - Lowland
Condition (click for history): Unfavourable - Recovering Assessed by: HOLLAND, (TOM)
Last assessed: 19/01/2015 Last field visit: 01/01/0001
ISA Survey: View Surveys
Date of site check: 19/09/2017 Last CSM assessment: 18/12/2009
Condition assessment comment:

Interest features

  1. Invertebrate Assemblage

Favourable.

  1. Variety of breeding bird species (70)

Comments as for unit 32

Favourable

  1. M23 – Juncus acutiflorus – Galium palustre fen meadow &
  2. M22 - Juncus subnodulosus - Cirsium palustre fen meadow

Fail on

  • Ratio of bad rushes to good rushes. Soft rush cover is 27% whilst the combined cover of Juncus subnodulosus and Juncus acutiflorus is 12%.
  • The low frequency of positive indicator species – two species (Iris pseudacorus and Galium palustre) were frequent and one (Carex disticha) was occasional.

Unfavourable

The FCTs need re-writing – most of the M22/M24 and M23 that formerly occupied this block is to be allowed to succeed to tall herb fen – hopefully a mosaic including S24, but more likely one dominated by S4, S24, S5, S6, S7 and M27, similar to the one that developed in unit 49. The land is no long pumped free of water and summer flooding is common. The maintenance of rush-pasture is not possible, except where the ground rises up towards the southern margin of the unit and good stand of M22 remains.

Management recommendations

  • Graze and cut-and-collect where possible if only on the drier margins where the stand of M22 remains.
  • Allow the development of fen.
Number of adverse condition reasons: 0
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