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NCA Profile: 99 Black Mountains and Golden Valley (NE559)

An updated version of this profile is online at This pdf is retained for historical and completeness purposes.

The Black Mountains and Golden Valley National Character Area (NCA) lies within the south-west corner of Herefordshire. It is one of the most tranquil areas of England, with few settlements and relatively little new development or transport infrastructure. Key challenges for the area include the fragmentation of semi-natural habitats, in particular the fragile upland habitats, and maintaining a sense of remoteness while providing a range of recreational opportunities. A border landscape, it is bounded by the Welsh half of the Black Mountains and the Brecon Beacons to the west, the Wye Valley and Herefordshire lowlands to the north and east and the River Monnow to the south. There is a strong sense of transition from the wild and remote beauty of the upland plateau to the cultivated intimacy of lowland England.
The highest land on the plateau has extensive upland habitat, much of which falls within the Black Mountains Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI). Habitats include wet heath and blanket bog with peat deposits and small flushed areas with species such as sedge-butterwort, and deer grass and cross-leaved heath. Designated sites are few; a very small part of Moccas Park, a historic deer park and National Nature Reserve, falls within the NCA, along with eight SSSI. This includes two Geological Conservation Review Sites. Woodlands are an important habitat, covering 13 per cent of the area, with much of the woodland cover predominantly along the ridges to the east.
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NE559: NCA Profile: 99 Black Mountains and Golden Valley, PDF, 5.3 MB 2014/04/24


This record relates to the location identified by the marker on the map: