Area: 15.3 hectares.
Description and Reasons for Notification:
This site is an example of unimproved mire of a type which is restricted to south-west England and Wales and which has been significantly reduced in extent in the recent past.
The area is underlain by carboniferous mudstones and shales on which poorly drained clay soils have developed.
The vegetation consists mostly of the purple moor-grass – meadow thistle Molinia caerulea – Cirsium dissectum community in which both purple moor-grass and meadow thistle are abundant. Dwarf shrubs are also. frequent and include: western gorse Ulex gallii, heather Calluna vulgaris, cross-leaved heath Erica tetralix, creeping willow Salix repens and petty whin Genista anglica which is a very uncommon plant in Somerset. Herb species associated with this community include: heath spotted-orchid Dactylorhiza maculata, saw-wort Serratula tinctoria, sneezewort Achillea ptarmica, devil’s-bit scabious Succisa pratensis, lousewort Pedicularis sylvatica, marsh pennywort Hydrocotyle vulgaria, marsh violet Viola palustris, bog pimpernel Anagallis tenella and bitter-vetch Lathyrus montanus. There are a wide range of sedge species present including: star sedge Carex echinata, tawny sedge C. hostiana, carnation Ssedge C. panicea and flea sedge C. pulicaris, together with bog mosses Sphagnum spp.
Another herb-rich vegetation type, which is less extensive on this site and found on the wettest areas, is the sharp-flowered rush – marsh bedstraw Juncus acutiflorus – Galium palustre mire community in which sharp-flowered rush, marsh bedstraw, greater bird’s-foot trefoil Lotus pedunculatus, wild angelica Angelica sylvestris, ragged robin Lychnis flos-cuculi, fleabane Pulicaria dysenterica and water mint Mentha aquatica are common.
The site includes an area of broad-leaved woodland and scrub with pedunculate oak Quercus robur, ash Fraxinus excelsior and alder Alnus glutinosa. The woodland creates sheltered conditions which are suitable habitat for invertebrates.
There is a large colony of the marsh fritillary butterfly Eurodryas aurinia on this site. This species is scarce nationally and south-west England is one of the few last remaining strongholds of this species in Europe. The larvae of the butterfly feed on the devil’s-bit scabious.