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Bushley Muzzard, Brimpsfield - Unit 1

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Staff member responsible for SSSI unit: Paul Hackman
Unit ID: 1013252
Unit area: 1 hectares
Main habitat: Neutral grassland - lowland
Condition:   Favourable
Latest assessment date: 20 June 2011
Condition assessment comment: The positive indicators (Freq. 5, Occ. 6 and Rare 2) were quite high and appear to be better than August 2005, however this may be more a reflection of the time of year of assessment. Quality indicator species marsh arrowgrass was found occasionally across the site. It should also be noted that the site has recently been grazed which may have affected the species diversity observed on the day. Negative species, in particular creeping thistle, were fairly common within the field but were not found on the mire itself. Similarly, scrub, litter, sward height and bare ground were all at favourable levels. The grazing regime is to graze cattle at levels that will remove the palatable vegetation and then to remove the cattle before they start to poach the site. This seems to work in that it keeps the coarse vegetation in check (hard rush seems to be reduced from the last condition assessment), there is very little litter and areas of bare ground/light poaching are suitable for the mire plant community. The site can therefore be considered to be FAVOURABLE. However, the “year round” grazing does mean that there are opportunities for weed species to become established, especially during the wet winter months. Also it may be that positive plant species have less of a chance to flower and set seed. Recommend continued weed control and annual six week summer break from grazing.
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