Area: 31.6 hectares.

Description and Reasons for Notification:

Beaford Moor is an important remnant of a type of wet heathland restricted to North Devon and Pembrokeshire. It supports many heathland invertebrates including two rarities.

Lying at an altitude of 175 metres, the Moor rests on shales of the Crackington Formation of the Carboniferous Culm series, and the soils consist of heavily gleyed clays overlain by varying depths of humose or peaty subsoil.

The site is dominated by purple moor-grass Molinia caerulea, with heather Calluna vulgaris, cross-leaved heath Erica tetralix and western gorse Ulex gallii as sub-dominants. Characteristic associated plants include bog asphodel Narthecium ossifragum, heath spotted-orchid Dactylorhiza maculata, devil’s-bit scabious Succisa pratensis, saw-wort Serratula tinctoria, bog pimpernel Anagallis tenella and the local pale butterwort Pinguicula lusitanica. Willow Salix spp. bushes are scattered over the site.

A rich invertebrate fauna has been recorded including marsh fritillary Euphydryas aurinea, small pearl-bordered fritillary Boloria selene, the nationally rare hoverfly Microdon mutabulis and the nationally scarce cranefly Limnophila pulchella