Dungeness, Romney Marsh and Rye Bay SSSI - West Ripe (012)
Staff member responsible: Jo Dear
Unit Id: 1029291
Unit area (ha): 34.7106
Unit Status: Live Gridref: TR 036 197
Main habitat: ACID GRASSLAND - Lowland
Condition and Comments (click for history): Favourable Assessed by: GREENSLADE, (PETER)
Last assessed: 19/08/2009 Last assessment field visit: 19/08/2009
ISA Survey: View Surveys
Date of last site check: Last CSM assessment: 19/08/2009
Estimated year unit will go Favourable: Confidence in estimate:
Comment: This unit includes a vegetation type not found in other parts of the range area with heather and other plants associated with dry lichen heath frequent. The vegetation on the shingle ridge is in good condition although spread of gorse poses a threat to its maintenance. Despite the construction of tracks and drainage channels, tree planting and other activities, the fossil geomorphology appears to be largely intact. Tree planting has recently taken place which may result in the loss of some of the species-rich vegetation. Good quality dry heath and dry acid grassland is confined to the upper part of the ridge. The areas south and east of the established pine plantation are of particular interest. Parts have frequent short-grazed heather in a very short turf dominated by common bent with frequent sand sedge, sheep?s sorrel, pill sedge, heath bedstraw and wood sage. There is very high cover of mosses and lichens including patches of Dicranum scoparium. There is scattered gorse which is tightly grazed by rabbits but where it is above browse height it is beginning to develop dense patches and may pose a threat if it spreads further. In general however, the vegetation is currently being maintained in good condition through the heavy rabbit grazing.
Number of adverse condition reasons: 0
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