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Poor's Allotment - Unit 1

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Staff member responsible for SSSI unit: Alisa Swanson
Unit ID: 1013435
Unit area: 28 hectares
Main habitat: Dwarf shrub heath - lowland
Condition:   Unfavourable recovering
Latest assessment date: 30 September 2013
Condition assessment comment: Been in an HLS agreement since May 2008 - mechanical control of bracken plus grazing regime. Lowland dry acid grassland favourable but the heathland and mosaic habitats were still unfavourable for the following reasons: The heathland fails on diversity of dwarf shrub age. Pioneer stage of heather etc was estimated at 67% which indicates that they are not being allowed to mature under the current cutting/grazing regime. Bare ground (away from footpaths) was less than 1% and implies no opportunity for germination of heath species. Failed due to high abundance of Deschampsia flexuosa (wavy hairgrass) over 25% cover across heathland/mosaic habitat could be a reflection the grazing is not effectively removing the grass. An increase in stocking density may help create bare ground and reduce the cover of wavy grass. Cover of bracken within stops was over 13% making it borderline for the heathland/mosaic habitats. Noted that bracken is widespread across the SSSI (this is historical) and the target should be treated as a reflection of the density of bracken at individual stops. Very little bryophytes or lichens species were observed associated with heath (usually found on rocks/boulders now largely overshaded by bracken). Gorse cover failed as they still cover more than 10% of the site and where it is found is very dense preventing heathland from developing underneath. The MG5 feature was not assessed as does not exist. It has been removed as a notified feature. CG2 has been added as a notified feature and has been assessed as favourable.
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