Area: 36.9 hectares.
Description and Reasons for Notification:
Ugbrooke Park is of national importance for the conservation of lichens. In particular, two very scarce communities are present and these include nationally-rare species.
The Park, which is in south-west Devon near Chudleigh, possesses large and mature oak Quercus spp., ash Fraxinus excelsior and sycamore Acer pseudoplatanus trees, upon the bark of which the lichens grow. The high importance of the site for lichens is largely due to the these parkland trees, the unpolluted air, the lack of fertiliser drift and the low annual rainfall in this part of Devon.
The site supports 110 lichen species which were recorded on the trees in 1989. Of particular note are two rare communities, the Lecanactidetum premneae and the Xanthorion parietinae. The former occurs on dry-barked, very old trees and is almost unknown outside the British Isles. At Ugbrooke, it contains two very rare species, Lecanactis lyncea and Opegrapha prosodea, the latter being wholly confined to the dry bark of very ancient trees in parkland situations.
The Xanthorion community is particularly well-developed in the park, being rich in species and including Gyalecta derivata and Wadeana dendrographa. The latter is found only in old woodland or unpolluted wayside sites on basic-barked trees such as ash and elm, and is known outside the British Isles only in Portugal.
Another rarity present is Strigula taylorii, whilst several species which are on the western edge of their distribution in Devon, such as Arthonia impolita, Pertusaria coccodes, P. hemispherica and Physcia tribacia are also present.
Long-term ecological continuity is indicated by the presence of such local species as Arthonia vinosa, Biatorina atropurpurea, Dimerella lutea, Enterographa crassa, Pachyphiale cornea and Parmelia reddenda.
Some species such as Anaptychia ciliaris, Bacidia incompta and Sticta limbata appear to have been lost from the site in recent years, probably largely due to the death of elms, Ulmus spp. through Dutch elm disease, but nevertheless the site remains of great importance.