The Hudnalls SSSI - TUFFS AND MOCKING HAZELS WOOD (003)
Staff member responsible: KATEY STEPHEN
Unit Id: 1013454
Unit area (ha): 18.7098
Unit Status: Live Gridref: SO 545 044
Main habitat: BROADLEAVED, MIXED AND YEW WOODLAND - Lowland
Condition (click for history): Favourable Assessed by: HACKMAN, (JO)
Last assessed: 11/06/2014 Last field visit: 13/05/2014
ISA Survey: View Surveys
Date of site check: Last CSM assessment: 11/06/2014
Comment:

This ISA visit was made on 13th May 2014 by Joanne Hackman (Natural England) and Rob Bacon (Natural Resource Wales).

 

The Hudnalls consists of a canopy of mature standards with some relict coppiced trees. Oak Quercus sp., Beech Fagus sylvatica and Silver birch Betula pendula are the dominant tree species. There are lesser amounts of Alder Alnus glutinosa, Ash Fraxinus excelsior, Lime Tilia sp and Cherry Prunus sp. The majority of this Unit is W10 woodland with some W7.

 

The shrub layer includes Holly Ilex aquifolium, Willow Salix sp., and Hazel Corylus avellanus. There are small amounts of non native Sycamore and Rhododendron.

 

A small amount of tree planting has taken place at stop 5. This consists of approximately two groups of c. 30 Oak trees planted within tree guards.

 

The ground layer is species poor which is typical of a W10 community. Bluebell Hyacinthoides non-scripta, Bilberry Vaccinium myrtillus and Wood sorrel Oxalis acetosella are typical. In places Wood anemone Anemone nemoralis, Yellow archangel Galeobdolon luteum, Lesser celandine Ranunculus ficaria and Enchanters nightshade Circaea lutetiana can be found. Broad buckler fern Dryopteris dilatata, Hard fern Blechnum spicant and Hart’s tounge fern Asplenium scolopendrium plus Great wood rush Luzula sylvatica along tracks. At one stop (10) Herb Paris Paris quadrifolia was unusually extensive.

 

A ponded area can be found at the northern edge of this Unit which has a rich aquatic flora including Watercress Rorippa nasturtium-aquaticum, Brooklime Veronica beccabunga, Reed Phragmites communis, Sharp-flowered rush Juncus acutiflorus, Gipsywort Lycopus europaeus, Water-crowfoot Ranunculus sp. and supports newts. Unfortunately this area is also full of young seedlings of Himalayan balsam Impatiens glandulifera which must have come in via the stream feeding the pond. The stream is a direct tributary of the River Wye c. 800m away. The balsam is also beginning to spread into the edge of the wood.

 

Both standing and fallen deadwood is quite plentiful most of it coming from dead Oak limbs and Silver birch. There are no real veteran trees as yet.

 

The deer browsing level is low and does not appear to be limiting regeneration. There were possible signs of wild boar rooting around the base of stone walls and signs of squirrel damage on some trees.

 

This unit can be considered as favourable. Consider options for control of non-natives e.g. Sycamore, Rhododendron and Himalayan balsam through bringing in a contractor or volunteer work parties. Monitor any signs of squirrel or boar damage. Identify veteran trees of the future. Consider opportunities for creation of further open space.

Number of adverse condition reasons: 0
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