5 years of monitoring grassland transplantation at Potatopot, West Cumbria. (ENRR036)

This 1993 report summarises the five years of botanical monitoring prior to and following the transplantation of species rich acidic grassland and mire communities at Potatopot, West Cumbria due to the opencast mining of the site by British Coal. Monitoring showed a steady increase in invasive species, notably Holcus lanatus, Molinia caerulea, Deschampsia cespitosa and Juncus conglomeratus and a corresponding decline in less vigorous species (including Nardus stricta, Carex flacca, C. panicea, C. pilulifera, C. pulicaris, Dactylorhiza fuchsii, Achillea ptarmica, Ranunculus acris and R. flammula) which were characteristic of the original grassland. The trends caused in a significant decline in the botanical interest of the site. The report concludes that the absence of grazing both prior to and following transplantation was the main cause of this decline. The recommendation was that grazing should continue at increased intensity and that mowing and removal of cuttings should be considered to encourage slow growing species. The findings highlight the importance of management, particularly post transplantation, in the success or otherwise of habitat transplantation schemes.

A printed copy of this old English Nature report is available from our Enquiry Service. Tel: 0845 600 3078 Email: enquiries@naturalengland.org.uk

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