Area: 9.3 hectares.
A new site, adjacent to Coombe Meadow SSSI.
Description and Reasons for Notification:
This site is important for its herb-rich grassland communities.
The meadows are gently sloping and being situated on the clayey soils derived from the underlying Carboniferous shales, drain relatively slowly with some seasonal waterlogging.
The sward is dominated by purple moor-grass Molinia caerulea, other grasses including heath-grass Danthonia decumbens, sweet Vernal-grass Anthoxanthum odoratum, velvet bent Agrostis canina and in places marsh foxtail Alopecurus geniculatus and mat-grass Nardus stricta. These are accompanied by abundant meadow thistle Cirsium dissectum and sharp-flowered rush Juncus acutiflorus together with herbs such as heath spotted-orchid Dactylorhiza maculata, lousewort Pedicularis sylvatica, saw-wort Serratula tinctoria, sneezewort Achillea ptarmica and devil’s-bit scabious Succisa pratensis. Sedges are abundant and include common yellow-sedge Carex demissa, flea sedge C. pulicaris, oval sedge C. ovalis, glaucous sedge C. flacca, tawny sedge C. hostiana, common sedge C. nigra and carnation sedge C. panicea.
There is a strip of well-established woodland around the site, with pedunculate oak Quercus robur, ash Fraxinus excelsior and hazel Corylus avellana as the main components, and willow Salix sp. and blackthorn Prunus spinosa forming occasional thickets.
The nationally scarce marsh fritillary Eurodryas aurinia and silver-washed fritillary Argynnis paphia breed on site.