Condition of SSSI units

Compiled: 01 Aug 2014

See the SSSI glossary for an explanation of terms.

Condition of SSSI units

Team - North East - SSSI name - Waldridge Fell - Staff member responsible for site - Tom Charman
Region

County

District

Main habitat

Staff member responsible for unit

Unit number

Unit ID

Unit area (ha)

Latest assessment date

Assessment description

Condition assessment comment

Reason for adverse condition

North East  Durham  Chester-Le-Street  Broadleaved, mixed and yew woodland - lowland  Tom Charman  1012354  6.96  06 Jul 2009  Favourable  Individual alder trees are present immediately alongside Congburn with some Sycamore replacing the alder trees in places along the burn. While this was the feature of interest on the site criteria sheet the majority of the site is W16 woodland not W5. Understorey – 50% Canopy Cover – 75% Open Canopy – 10% Three age classes are present with a scatter of large trees present and a minimum of 3 fallen lying trees. More than 95% of cover is site-native or acceptable naturalised species although some sycamore is present. Ground flora relevant to W16b includes; Betula, Quercus, Deschampsia flexuosa, Pterdium aquilinum, Driopteris dilatata, Vaccinium myrtillus, Sorbus aucuparia.    
North East  Durham  Chester-Le-Street  Broadleaved, mixed and yew woodland - lowland  Tom Charman  1012355  6.01  06 Jul 2009  Favourable  Along the East side of the road there is a narrow line of alder trees along the stream. Understorey – 50% Canopy Cover – 80% Open Canopy – 15% Three age classes present with seedlings, shrubs, abundant mature trees and a minimum of 3 fallen lying trees. More than 95% of cover is site-native or acceptable naturalised species although some rhododendron is present. Rich ground flora present - see list attached in monitoring file. Regeneration is occuring naturally with no planting present.    
North East  Durham  Chester-Le-Street  Dwarf shrub heath - lowland  Tom Charman  1012351  98.50  26 Jul 2009  Unfavourable recovering  Despite active management, much of the heathland consists of even-aged mature phase heather with small areas of pioneer and degenerate phases. Calluna vulgaris and Vaccinium myrtillus are present throughout most samples but there is a limited numberof desirable forbs (e.g. Galium saxatile, Potentilla erecta) able to survive in this dense/mature ericoid vegetation. The north and south edges of the heath are subject to invasive Betula pendula scrub which exceeds 15% cover in places. Areas of heath that have been burned or subject to bracken bruising operations with a roller have been colonised by tall invasive weeds (e.g. Chamerion angustifolium) and heath star moss (Campylopus introflexus) respectively. Despite these negative indicators the heath is subject to a management plan and is considered to be in unfavourable recovering condition.   
North East  Durham  Chester-Le-Street  Fen, marsh and swamp - lowland  Tom Charman  1012356  2.62  26 Jul 2009  Unfavourable recovering  At the time of the survey the bog was losing water via the breached bund towards its eastern boundary. Limited active management has taken place on the unit in recent years and the bog has become colonised by salix scrub and saplings whilst the cover of Juncus spp. exceeds 50% over the whole area. Durham County Council are proposing to repair and enhance the bund and introduce cattle grazing on the bog. The site is currently unfavourble but because the above remedies are in place this justifies unfavourble recovering condition.   
Report completed.