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NECR529 National Vegetation Survey of Quarry Hangers SSSI and Quarry Dean Meadows (NECR529)

Giles Groome, Consultant Ecologist, was commissioned by Natural England to undertake National Vegetation Classification (NVC) surveys of eight fields and a former quarry on the North Downs in Surrey to investigate their potential for Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) designation, along with all seven Units of the existing Quarry Hangers SSSI.

5.27ha of the ‘high conservation interest’ grassland communities MG1d and MG1e were mapped across Quarry Dean Meadows. All larger stands of MG1e were quadrat sampled, revealing them to be very species-rich. Several rare/scarce/threatened species were also recorded.

Approximately 17.7ha of ‘high conservation interest’ grassland were mapped across the existing SSSI. Most falls within CG3c, but there are >2.5ha of both MG1e and MG5a, as well as smaller areas of CG3a and CG3b. Collectively, quadrat recording revealed these grasslands to be very species-rich.

Based on the criteria for selecting grassland SSSIs, three fields within Quarry Dean Meadows, which collectively support 98% of the MG1e recorded here, automatically qualify for SSSI designation.

The three fields bordering the existing Quarry Hangers SSSI automatically qualify for SSSI selection when the combined area of species-rich grassland within them and the existing SSSI is considered together. Indeed, their inclusion would extend the area currently supporting ‘high conservation interest’ grassland within the SSSI by >25%, to >22ha.

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NECR529 Edition 1 National Vegetation Survey of Quarry Hangers SSSI and Quarry Dean Meadows, PDF, 8.3 MB 2024/04/15


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