|Condition assessment comment:
||The SSSI unit includes two fields but only two relatively small areas make up the special interest of the site (M22 mire – see map). Positive indicator species were favourable (Freq. 5, Occ. 3 and Rare 1) which was similar to the previous assessment in 2005. There were patches of hard and soft rush within the mire which were not assessed within the stops.
Negative indicator species were at least occasional and in some areas frequent and made up around 5% cover. Also undesirable rushes (hard and soft) were close to 50% (at the stops) and large leaved sedges close to 20%.
These factors together make the unit unfavourable.
There were also species that indicated local waterlogging in places and a large pool of standing water seemed to have been present since the winter at least (see map). Other attributes, such as sward height, litter and bare ground were all favourable although litter had increased since the last assessment.
The site has always been grazed (for most of the year) by cattle so the reasons for unfavourable condition now (ie. an increase in undesirable rushes and sedges) are unclear. It may be just a short term fluctuation. These matters will be discussed with the owner and include:
• What factors are leading to standing water (and species associated with waterlogging) on the site in places in mid June? A hydrological report might be required to answer this question.
• What is leading to an increase in undesirable rushes and sedges? Has there been a subtle change in management or is the site drying out in places? Again a hydrological report may provide the answers.