Area: 11.2 hectares.
Carnkief Pond is located about 3 kilometres south-west of Perranporth in a wide sheltered stream valley. The Devonian Grampound Grits are overlain by alluvial deposits, giving rise to poorly drained, often waterlogged soils.
The site encompasses a wide range of habitats, including swamp vegetation, deciduous woodland, streams, herb-rich meadows, wet heath and bog vegetation.
The wet heath/bog supports a rich flora including bog myrtle Myrica gale and royal fern Osmunda regalis. Of particular note is the Red Data Book* species Dorset heath Erica ciliaris, present here in abundance, but very rare outside Dorset.
The open water areas provide a habitat for the rare insectivorous plant, greater bladderwort Utricularia vulgaris which is only known at this one location in Cornwall.
The herb rich meadows possess a diverse flora and of special interest is the Red Data Book species, balm-leaved figwort Scrophularia scorodonia. Other noteworthy species recorded in these meadows are wavy-leaved St John’s wort Hypericum undulatum and yellow bartsia Parentucellia viscose.
The site is also of importance for its 12 species of dragonfly, of which the small red dragonfly Ceriagrion tenellum and keeled skimmer Orthetrum coerulescens are nationally scarce.
* The British Red Data Books lists vulnerable and endangered species.