South Dorset Coast SSSI - Rings Hill (073)
Staff member responsible: MATTHEW LOW
Unit Id: 1030365
Unit area (ha): 61.1354
Unit Status: Live Gridref: SY 870 808
Main habitat: CALCAREOUS GRASSLAND - Lowland
SITE CHECK:
Date of last site check: Checked by:
Comment:
Condition and Comments (click for history): Unfavourable - No change Assessed by: MATTHEW LOW
Last assessed: 30/09/2014 Last assessment field visit: 16/07/2009
ISA Survey: View Surveys
Last CSM assessment: 16/07/2009
Estimated year unit will go Favourable: Confidence in estimate:
Reason for adverse condition: LACK OF CORRECTIVE WORKS - INAPPROPRIATE SCRUB CONTROL,
Comment: Though this unit is being actively managed by MoD, it is probable that the Ulex scrub is just being held in check and not reduced by any significant amount. Current cover of scrub is significant (40%+). ISAT failing features CG1: Cover of lichens (all) - The CG1 habitat was hard to find in the unit and appears to have suffered from a run of wet years. This has lessened the drought stress associated with this community and led to partial succession to a more CG3 type species assemblage. CG3-5 mosaic Cover of specific species (individual) - Tor grass at 30cm+ for Lulworth Skipper (28% estimated, target 5-10%) probably due to lack of grazing pressure on upper slopes and plateau. Cover of trees and scrub (all) - Ulex scrub exceeding current FCT target (5-10%) by a wide margin. MoD keeping in check but not yet reducing extent. Extent of feature - Clear loss of open grassland since notification (almost entirely to Ulex e.). Frequency of negative indicator species (all) - Unit failing on Abundant Common Ragwort (target, no more than occasional). In places the unit shows its potential for recovery where good quality CG3 is found (mostly lower slopes - with > grazing pressure & ramparts of the hill fort). Species such as Fairy Flax, Gentian sp, Lady's Bedstraw, Salad Burnet, Milkwort and Dwarf Thistle characterised these swards. Weather was too cold and windy to assess the frequency of Lulworth Skipper, though the extent of Tor Grass certainly provided more than adequate habitat.
Number of adverse condition reasons: 1
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