|IPA Factsheet - Moor House to Upper Teesdale|
Site Description Moor House to Upper Teesdale is a SSSI. The area was designated principally for its range of internationally important habitats. These consist of lower lying meadows to limestone grassland and support rare and endangered vascular plants.
Botanical Significance IPA noted for vascular plant Crit A - Saxifraga hirculus, Helianthemum oelandicum ssp levigatum, and habitat. Hard oligo-mesotrophic waters with benthic vegetation of Chara spp: This site includes a single small hard oligo-mesotrophic waterbody, Tarn Dub, an upland pool which is impermanent in nature and situated on the slopes of Cronkley Fell. A species-poor flora includes stoneworts Chara spp. in the deeper parts, as well as shoreweed Littorella uniflora, the aquatic moss Fontinalis antipyretica and tubular water-dropwort Oenanthe fistulosa. Alpine and Boreal heaths The main sub-type is H19 Vaccinium myrtillus – Cladonia arbuscula heath, which occurs on an extensive plateau. Characteristically there is an abundance of lichens, especially Cladonia species, but on this site there is also an unusual abundance of large clumps of the montane lichen Cetraria islandica. Cladonia heath gives way below to a wind-clipped form of H12 Calluna vulgaris – Vaccinium myrtillus heath. which grades into taller heaths of the same community lower down the slopes. These represent alpine to boreal transitions which, in the more severe climate of the Highlands, would be represented by lichen- or bryophyte-rich prostrate Calluna heaths. Juniperus communis formations on heaths or calcareous grasslands: In Upper Teesdale the juniper has developed mainly on heath and is of the W19 Juniperus communis – Oxalis acetosella type. There are transitions to dwarf-shrub heath, acidic grasslands and whin-sill cliffs. Small patches of juniper scrub also occur on calcareous soils, including the sugar limestone grassland for which this site is famous. Calaminarian grasslands of the Violetalia calaminariae: Much of the spoil is unvegetated and has a variety of particle sizes ranging from coarse rubble to fine sediment, and several steep, unstable slopes. The metallophytes spring sandwort Minuartia verna, alpine penny-cress Thlaspi caerulescens and Pyrenean scurvygrass Cochlearia pyrenaica occur along with lichens such as Cladonia rangiformis, C. chlorophaea and Coelocaulon aculeatum. Siliceous alpine and boreal grasslands: The U10 Carex bigelowii – Racomitrium lanuginosum moss-heath that covers the summit cap has a high cover of woolly fringe-moss Racomitrium lanuginosum Semi-natural dry grasslands and scrubland facies: on calcareous substrates (Festuco-Brometalia): Extensive stands of CG9 Sesleria albicans – Galium sterneri grassland occur at this site in northern England. It is an important variant of this community since it contains a rich assemblage of relict arctic-alpine species, such as spring gentian Gentiana verna and alpine forget-me-not Myosotis alpestris, making Moor House – Upper Teesdale one of the most important arctic-alpine refugia in the UK. Hydrophilous tall herb fringe communities of plains and of the montane to alpine levels: Hydrophilous tall herb fringe communities occur on wet ledges in base-rich rocks, which are inaccessible to grazing livestock. One of the most extensive stands is on a tributary of Little Gill, and examples also occur at Lady Gill, Greencastle, High Cup Nick and Mickle Fell. Typical species that occur in these localities include great wood-rush Luzula sylvatica, wood crane’s-bill Geranium sylvaticum, water avens Geum rivale, lady’s-mantle Alchemilla glabra, wild angelica Angelica sylvestris and roseroot Sedum rosea. Petrifying springs with tufa formation (Cratoneurion): Tufa springs often occur at the junction between limestone and these other, less permeable, rocks at a range of altitudes. Tufa springs are associated with calcareous glacial drift and can be found in calcareous grasslands, in fen systems of grazed pastures, associated with limestone scar cliffs and screes and amidst acid heathland and grassland. Alkaline fen: The site has an exceptionally important rare plant flora associated with flush vegetation, including species such as bird’s-eye primrose Primula farinosa and Scottish asphodel Tofieldia pusilla Alpine pioneer formations of the Caricion bicoloris-atrofuscae.
General Habitat Description Alkaline fens; Alpine and Boreal heaths; Alpine pioneer formations of the Caricion bicoloris-atrofuscae; Blanket bogs; Calaminarian grasslands of the Violetalia calaminariae; Calcareous and calcshist screes of the montane to alpine levels (Thlaspietea rotundifolii); Calcareous rocky slopes with chasmophytic vegetation; Hard oligo-mesotrophic waters with benthic vegetation of Chara spp.; Hydrophilous tall herb fringe communities of plains and of the montane to alpine levels; Juniperus communis formations on heaths or calcareous grasslands; Molinia meadows on calcareous, peaty or clayey-silt-laden soils (Molinion caeruleae); Mountain hay meadows; Petrifying springs with tufa formation (Cratoneurion); Semi-natural dry grasslands and scrubland facies: on calcareous substrates (Festuco-Brometalia); Siliceous alpine and boreal grasslands; Siliceous rocky slopes with chasmophytic vegetation; Siliceous scree of the montane to snow levels (Androsacetalia alpinae and Galeopsietalia ladani)