General characteristics

Inland water bodies (Standing water, Running water) (1%)

Bogs, Marshes, Water fringed vegetation, Fens (3.5%)

Heath, Scrub, Maquis and Garrigue, Phygrana (25%)

Dry grassland, Steppes (2.5%)

Humid grassland, Mesophile grassland (60%)

Improved grassland (1%)

Broad-leaved deciduous woodland (7%)

Habitats that are a primary reason for selection of this site

Molinia meadows on calcareous, peaty or clayey-silt-laden soils (Molinion caeruleae)

Culm Grasslands represents Molinia meadows in southwest England. This site contains extremely diverse examples of the heathy type of M24 Molinia caerulea – Cirsium dissectum fen-meadow, ranging from short, grazed swards through to stands that are transitional to scrub. Structural diversity accounts for the conservation of a wide range of flora and fauna, particularly of species characteristic of south-western Europe, such as meadow thistle Cirsium dissectum and whorled caraway Carum verticillatum.

Habitats present as a qualifying feature, but not a primary reason for selection of this site

Northern Atlantic wet heaths with Erica tetralix

Species that are a primary reason for selection of this site

Marsh fritillary butterfly  Euphydryas (Eurodryas, Hypodryas) aurinia

Culm Grasslands in southwest England contains the largest cluster of sites for marsh fritillary Euphydryas aurinia in the southwest peninsula. It is judged to be the most important location for the species in its major southwest stronghold.

© Crown copyright. All rights reserved. Natural England [2015].