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Devon Somerset Border Smeatharpe Village

Environmental project SSSI

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Assessing the existing plants in the SSSI garden

Whilst the woodland and purple moorgrass mire are the two most important habitats on our client's land, there are other important habitats that require careful maintenance.

There are species rich ancient hedgerows, there is a large pond and the site has areas of gorse & bramble scrub, together with dry grassland. All these add interest to the site - but all provide extra work in preventing species which can become dominant from doing just that.


Ungrazed areas develop into alder woodland where sallow and ash are the commonest associated trees. The ground flora of one wooded area is dominated by greater tussock sedge. This type of woodland is one of the most uncommon in Britain.

general view sedge

The land is extremely wet and is located on spring lines at the geological interface of the pervious clay with flints and greensand overlying impervious Jurassic rocks. The beehives on the high part are on the wettest land.

An additional view of the Greater Tussock Sedge that dominates the floor of the alder, sallow and ash woodland. This photo does not give a true impression of the height of these clumps - some are as high as five feet. You can just see a foxglove behind the clump, which gives an idea of scale.

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