Stowmarket 13e Site Status

Дата канвертавання26.04.2016
Памер24.18 Kb.

Stowmarket 13e

Site Status:

No conservation designation

Grid Ref:



3 ha




Simone Bullion & Penny Hemphill

Weather conditions:

Cloudy, bright, calm


At least 4, possibly 3 or 2 depending on reptile survey

Conservation Value:

Medium (possibly high depending on further survey work)


Crown Copyright 10016410


Grassland with developing scrub

Chalky grassland with pyramidal orchids

Habitat Types:

Tall herbs and grasses typical of chalky and water impeded sites, patches of scrub developing. Water-filled ditch on western boundary, with more recently disturbed area adjacent.

Subsidiary Habitats:


Site Description:

This is an area of former arable land that has not been cultivated for a number of years. There is now an interesting and diverse assemblage of plant species indicative of chalky grassland, although the area to the west appears to have been impacted upon during the development of the road and now has species typical of impeded drainage. There is a water-filled ditch on this western boundary. Scrub is developing throughout the site and this will eventually become dominant. The southern boundary is defined by a thick tree belt.

Protected Species:


Protected Species Potential

Slow worm Anguis fragilis and common lizard Lacerta vivipara

BAP Habitats Present


BAP Species Seen


BAP Species known


BAP Species Potential

Slow worm Anguis fragilis and common lizard Lacerta vivipara, Linnet


The site is connected to other areas of semi-natural habitat, such as the grassland to the west and tree belt to the south. The site forms part of a larger area which is currently semi-natural and undeveloped.

Structural Diversity

Excellent – the combination of grassland and scrub provides good habitat for birds, invertebrates and possibly also reptiles.


Species on site with DAFOR rating:
False oat Arrenatherum elatius was the dominant grass but purple small reed Calamagrostis canescens was abundant. Also Yorkshire fog Holcus lanatus (C), cocksfoot Dactylis glomerata (O), common couch grass Elymus repens (C), wood false brome Brachypodium sylvaticum (A), creeping bent Agrostis stolonifera (C), red fescue festuca rubra (O), giant fescue Festuca gigantia (R), crested dog’s tail Cynosurus cristatus (R), meadow foxtail Alopecurus pratensis (R), tufted hair grass Deschampsia caespitosa (R),

Pyramidal orchid Anacamptis pyramidalis (F) up to 1000 spikes estimated, common centaury Centaurium erythraea (A), bristly oxtongue Picris echioides (A), wild carrot Daucus carota (F), black knapweed Centaurea nigra (O), perforate St John’s wort Hypericum perforatum (O), white clover Trifolium repens (O ), red clover Trifolium pratense (O), curled dock Rumex crispus (R), mugwort Artemisia vulgaris (O), common cat’s-ear Hypochoeris radicata (O), ragwort Senecio jacobaea (O), hoary ragwort Senecio erucifolius (O) wild parsnip Pastinaca sativa (F, Locally A), tufted vetch Vicia cracca (O), common vetch Vicia sativa (R), smooth tare Vicia tetrasperma (R), black medick Medicago lupulina (F), hoary willowherb Epilobium parviflorum (F), rosebay willowherb Chamaenerion augustifolium (O), creeping thistle Cirsium arvense (O), creeping cinquefoil Potentilla reptans (F), creeping buttercup Ranunculus repens (O), oxeye daisy Leucanthemum vulgare (F), common fleabane Pulicaria dysenterica (F) field forget me not Myosotis arvensis (R), Birds foot trefoil Lotus corniculatus (C), self heal Prunella vulgaris (O), yarrow Achillea millefolium (O), wild basil Clinopodium vulgare (C), burnet saxifrage Pimpinella saxifrage (R), hoary plantain Plantago media (O), ribwort plantain Plantago lanceolata (O), A yellow vetch (O), Vicia spp, mugwort Artemisia vulgaris (O), white campion (R), dove’s-foot cranes-bill Geranium molle (R), field bindweed Convolvulus arvensis (O), A broomrape (probably common) Orobranche minor (R), common gromwell Lithospermum officinale (R), ploughman’s spikenard Inula conyza (R), teasel Dipsacus fullonum (R), scentless mayweed Tripleurospermum maritimum (R), ground ivy Glechoma hederacea (R), agrimony Agrimonia eupatoria (R), clematis spp (R), ribbed melilot Melilotus officinalis (R), hop trefoil Trifolium campestre (R), grass vetchling Lathyrus nissolia (R), dandelion Taraxacum officinale agg (R), spear thistle Cirsium vulgare (R). Slender sedge - Carex lasiocarpa ( O), Grey sedge - Carex divulsa - R


A tall, rather rank clump near western end was less diverse and contained the following species: hoary willowherb, hemlock Conium maculatum, curled dock, creeping thistle, bramble Rubus fruticosus agg, purple small reed and hairy sedge Carex hirta.

At the western edge there are signs of disturbance with low growing ruderals. Coltsfoot Tussilago farfara is common, with common fleabane Pulicaria dysenterica, birdsfoot trefoil, prickly ox tongue, hard rush Juncus inflexus , common centaury. The deep ditch was choked with hoary willowherb, with creeping thistle, knapweed, prickly ox tongue, hedge bedstraw gallium mollugo, hemp agrimony Eupatorium cannabinum, purple loosestrife Lithrum salicaria, hogweed Heracleum sphondyllium, nettle Urtica dioica, black knapweed, false oat grass, purple small reed, wood false-brome, willow Salix spp (O).
The southern boundary was banks with rank vegetation: creeping thistle, mugwort, coltsfoot, hedge woundwort Stachys sylvatica, creeping buttercup, common vetch and hoary willowherb
Scrub included: rose spp (C), hawthorn Crataegus monogyna (O), dogwood Thelycrania sanguinea (R), bramble (A)


Blackcap Sylvia atricapilla heard on boundary. It was too late in the season for a breeding bird survey, but the site is likely to be good for a range of birds.


Lepidoptera included large white Pieris brassicae, common blue Polyommatus icarus, meadow brown Maniola jurtina, gatekeeper Pyronia tithonus, Essex skipper Thymelicus lineola, 6 spot burnet moth Zygaena filipendulae and cinnabar caterpillars Tyria jacobaeae feeding on ragwort, but the weather conditions were not good for recording this group. The bedeguar gall of the gall wasp Diplolepis rosae was seen on dog roses on site.

The site contains large numbers of anthills and grasshoppers.


There is a high risk of reptiles as the habitat is highly suitable for common lizard and slow worm.


The site is likely to support a range of small mammals, such as mice, voles and shrews.

Comments & Recommendations

Since the 2005 survey, the site has increased in floristic diversity. It now displays a range of species typical of developing chalky grassland. The very large numbers of pyramidal orchid are notable, as is the presence of grass vetchling and gromwell, as well as the range of other plant species recorded. There is a high likelihood of reptiles being present and a reptile survey should be undertaken, particularly if this site were to proceed towards development.

If this site is left for several years then the thorny scrub will become dominant to the detriment of the grassland species. Recommended management would be to undertake some scrub removal to prevent ecological succession taking place. If in future public access were to be encouraged, if carefully managed this should not cause a conflict with the nature conservation value of this site.

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