|IPA Factsheet - Ardmeanach|
Site Description The basalt cliffs to the north and west of the site support a rich assemblage of flowering vegetation, attributing this site with its Special Area of Conservation status. Flowering plant species characteristic of arctic/alpine conditions are found across the exposed cliff faces, including the rare Icelandic purslane, Koenigia islandica and mountain avens Dryas octopetala. The steep slopes offer species-rich, sub-alpine, grassland which grades into characteristic west-coast maritime heath and oak/hazel woodland. The species-rich mat grass, Nardus strica slopes are considered some of the best examples in Britain, which are managed for conservation by the grazing of cattle.
Botanical Significance Noted for vascular plant interest of the Rock cliffs, ledges and shores, including the supralittoral; littoral sediment; subalpine grassland, specifically the site supports the near threatened plant, iceland purslane and seven nationally scarce vascular plant species, including hairy stonecrop, mountain avens and alpine cinquefoil. Three nationally scarce bryophytes also occur.
General Habitat Description Noted for habitats: Species-rich Nardus grassland, on siliceous substrates in mountain areas (and submountain areas in continental Europe); Hydrophilous tall herb fringe communities of plains and of the montane to alpine levels
Conservation Issues Overgrazing suppressing tree regeneration. Bracken incursion