|IPA Factsheet - Alderley Edge|
Site Description The whole woodland is riddled with old mine workings and relics of by-gone times. The site is an escarpment formed partly by the weathering of resistant red sandstone, which lies on top of a softer sandstone, and partly by faulting of the rocks. The geology (e.g. exposed, vertical acidic sand rock face) and environmental conditions (e.g. damp, shade/dappled shade) make it ideal for rare and endangered bryophytes (Karel Hladky, in Consultation document -IPAs in North and Central England, plus slight elaboration on geology and environmental conditions). A small proportion of the ZOO contains ancient re-planted woodland (Plantations on Ancient Woodland Sites).
Botanical Significance Noted for bryophyte interest: O. gracile has been observed in just one spot. It occurs in a small population in a narrow westerly extension of the SSSI (known as Castle Rock). A search for it elsewhere in the SSSI was negative, but there is potentially much sandrock exposure throughout the SSSI which may be available for colonisation.
General Habitat Description Woodland and Forest, red Sandstone. Nature conservation/Research Tourism/recreation, i.e. walking and caving. The mines are open for caving twice a year (Derbyshire Caving Club, 2009, link: http://www.derbyscc.org.uk/alderley/current_legal.htm )
Conservation Issues Eutrophication: Core and ZOO are within an existing Nitrate Vulnerable Zone (NVZ. Other: possible specimen collection for geological analysis. (Natural England, 2004, Views About Management- can be obtained through this link: http://www.sssi.naturalengland.org.uk/special/sssi/sssi_details.cfm?sssi_id=1001677 ).