|IPA Factsheet - Bolton Abbey Woods|
Site Description IPA interest occurs in Strid Wood component of the site, made up of primarily of bryophyte Orthodontium gracile, which occurs on rock exposures (and an old standing oak) within a linear area of 70m, but in small quantity and at no more than 4 spots within the 70m stretch. Much of the rest of Strid wood is not suitable to support the bryophyte. The plant needs Millstone rock outcrops, usually in an area of high humidity and free from excessive shade or competition from vascular plants and other bryophytes.
Botanical Significance Noted for bryophyte interest. This area is a fundamentally important habitat for bryophytes. The woodland is classified as mixed woodland that contains a rich variety of plant, animal and insect species (Graham Chastney). Endocarpon pusillum has also been observed within Strid Wood. IUCN classify this lichen as ‘endangered’ (Sorrell, 2006, saved in ‘Rachael’ file within ‘IPA shortlist’).The core and ZOO lie within ancient semi-natural woodlands (ASNW).The northeast side of the valley (where core IPA is situated, along with approximately half of the ZOO) supports oak forest with a largely acidic ground flora of woodrush (Luzula sylvatica), bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus), wavy hair-grass (Deschampsia flexuosa) and several species of fern. Holly (Ilex aquifolium), downy birch (Betula pubescens) and hazel (Corylus avellana) are also present as well as a number of both self-sown and planted beech and sycamore. There are occasional flushes where the limestone influence is more strongly felt, and here the canopy comprises of elm (Ulmus glabra) and alder (Alnus glutinosa), with a ground flora containing species such as opposite-leaved golden saxifrage (Chrysosplenium oppositifolium), wood melick (Melica uniflora) and mountain melick (M. nutans). Above the road, there is an area of relict wood-pasture in which old pollards of oak, holly and birch are growing amongst bracken and acid grassland (NE, n.d.).Strid Wood itself (i.e. not just IPA core/ZOO) is considered one of the best lichen woods in Yorkshire. Amongst the most notable species recorded are Arthonia didyma, Thelotrema lepadinum, Cladonia parasitica and Endocarpon pusillum. The wood is also noted for the occurrence of the local molluscs Acanthinula lamellata and Lauria anglica (NE, n.d).Further information on Strid Wood can be found in Sorrell (2006).
General Habitat Description Woodland and forest Nature Conservation
Conservation Issues Consequences of invasive plant species (sycamore and beech). There is suggestion that O. gracile is in decline in UK partly due to competition from the introduced O. lineare (ARKive, n.d.; UK BAP, 2007). The latter species originates from the Southern Hemisphere, and was first seen in UK in 1910 (Hassel & Söderstöm, 2005, via: http://www.anbg.gov.au/bryophyte/case-studies/campylopus-introduction.html ). However, so far there is no information suggesting O. lineare is present on this site.