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The Woodland Education Centre
The Heathland Restoration Project

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Ecological Survey 2001

These descriptions build upon the descriptions of the sections given in the 2000 ecological survey and should be read in conjunction for maximum benefit.
Hand Weeded Section 2000

Section 9 Description (Hand Weeded)

Observations 2000 - 2001

Section 9 in 2001. Six years after the start of experimental management and succession was beginning to take place in section 9, despite the hand weeding regime.


Bramble in amongst Bracken in the lower half of section 9. As in the preceding year, bramble (left - amongst bracken) was the dominant species, occurring in virtually all of  the quadrats sampled.

It had increased in abundance over the year.


Heather in section 9 in 2001, This section still contained the greatest abundance of Heather (left) on the project site.

The well-established Heather bushes had increased substantially in height and girth, with many of the older bushes becoming coarse and rank with quite open crowns.


European Gorse in section 9. The European Gorse (left) had grown substantially, reaching a maximum height of 250cm in places across the centre of the section.

Gorse had also increased in abundance since the previous year.



Birch and other tree seedlings in amongst Bracken in the upper half of section 9. Silver Birch (left) had increased and was the second most dominant species after bramble. Many of the birch saplings were by now up to160cm tall

Other tree species which were well established were cherry, willow and Rowan. Many of these were beyond pulling by hand.

Patches of rhododendron were also becoming re-established in isolated places.



Bracken and Gorse behind the darker green of Heather, in the lower half of section 9. Bracken (left - dead, brown fronds)- continued to encroach in the extreme top and bottom areas of the section.


Hypnum jutlandicum, Polytrichum formosum and Thuidium tamarascinum in section 9. Patches of more open ground supported a varied moss flora (left), including Polytrichum formosum and Hypnum jutlandicum, (both species commonly found on heaths), as well as Thuidium tamarascinum.

Rhytidiadelphus squarrosus , another characteristic moss of heaths, was recorded for the first time in section 9 this year, as well as in adjacent section 8.


Sphagnum moss. Sphagnum moss (left) was recorded in boggy areas alongside the neighbouring wet woodland habitat.


Sedges in section 9. Sedges (left) were common in patches, although overall they were not dominant. These were mainly Pill Sedge, Smooth-stalked Sedge and Green-ribbed Sedge.

This section supported quite a variety of different grasses, including several different species of Bents (Agrostis spp.), Purple Moor Grass, Sweet Vernal Grass and Yorkshire Fog.

Yorkshire Fog had decreased and was no longer classed as a dominant species in this section.


Bare sandy patches in section 9. Open patches of bare sandy ground were still clear in parts of the section (left).

These had often been colonized by ants and solitary wasps.



Dominant Plants in Section 9 in 2001
with figures from 2000 for comparison.

Characteristic heath species are in bold print

Species Overall % frequency Mean % Cover (all quadrats)
2001 2000 2001 2000
Bramble 91 72 27 22
Silver Birch 71 50 17 15
Polytrichum formosum 68 66 37 32
Heather 68 63 44 38
Thuidium tamarascinum 65 63 25 25
Hypnum jutlandicum 53 38 21 17
European Gorse 47 31 23 10
Pill Sedge 41 9 6 2
Eurhynchium praelongum 41 35 16 9
Velvet Bent 21 53 3 16
Common Bent 35 47 11 18
Cherry 27 22 5 3
Percentage frequency = the percentage of the total number of quadrats sampled over the whole site which contain the species. For example, a percentage frequency of 100%, means that the species was found in all quadrats sampled.


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Ecological Survey 2001