Date of Notification; 28 March 2002

Date of Confirmation: 12 December 2002

Site Area; 28.1 ha

1. Introduction;

This management statement contains CCW's opinion of the way in which the SSSI should be managed in order to maintain its special interest. It also provides a basis for future discussions and decisions on the conservation management of the SSSI. It is important thai any works described in this statement are fully discussed with and formally consented by CCW, before any of these management activities are started.

The document sets out a vision for the features of interest; it describes the key issues affecting those features and outlines any management considered necessary to safeguard the features.

It is very important to recognise that management may need to change with time. Problems that we are aware of today may be resolved or completely removed and new unforeseen problems may arise. New improved management techniques may also become available. Consequently the management outlined in this document is considered appropriate for the short term but may need to change in the long term.

2. Features of Special Scientific Interest:

Coastal heathland

Sea cliff vegetation Maritime grassland

Marsh fritillary butterfly

3. Long Term Vision for the Site and Features;

At least 9.2 ha and preferably more of the site should be covered by coastal heathland. The habitat should be of good quality with an abundance of heather, bell heather, cross-leaved heath, western gorse and spring squill and a varied structure including small areas of bare

ground and should provide habitat for a wide range of birds, reptiles and insects, including


Sea cliff vegetation should be dominated by thrift, rock samphire, golden samphire and

rock sea-spurrey.

Maritime grassland should cover not less than 8 ha of the site, and should be dominated by red fescue and thrift with sea plantain and buck's horn plantain. It should support a range of invertebrates and birds, notably chough. There should be an absence of ryegrass or Yorkshire fog.

The site should support or have the potential to support marsh fritillary (although the population may be intermittent and depend on other colonies). This will require not less than 0.5 ha of suitable habitat (tussocky purple moor grass wet flushes with abundant devil's bit scabious with a height within the range 8-25 cm) and abundant flowers nearby to provide nectar sources.

4. Key Management Issues: Heathland

Low soil fertility

Low soil fertility helps heather and western gorse to compete against more aggressive agricultural grasses. The application of any fertiliser or slurry should be avoided and animals should not be fed with silage on the site.

Light grazing

Light grazing encourages the development and maintenance of dwarf shrub heath. Heavy autumn grazing destroys heather. Cattle and horses are to be preferred as they are less selective in their grazing habits than sheep, permitting more plants to flower and set seed, whilst also breaking up dense clumps of gorse. They also produce minor poaching of the ground enabling seedlings to establish and providing a feeding niche for chough. Light levels of grazing should be maintained. Fencing should be erected and maintained on the landward boundary to control livestock.

Seacliff vegetation

Light grazing

The distribution and extent of seacliff vegetation is determined by salt spray and topography. Very occasional light grazing can be tolerated, creating occasional open ground and opportunities for feeding chough.

Maritime grassland

Light grazing

The distribution and extent of maritime grassland is strongly influenced by salt spray and topography. Occasional light grazing prevents the creation of a mat of fescue, creating occasional open ground and opportunities for feeding chough.

Marsh fritillary

Light grazing

Marsh fritillary require tussocky sward of 8 - 25 cm to provide shelter for feeding larvae, support for the larval web and sites for hibernation. Flower of devil's bit scabious, gorse, heathers, petty whin etc provide nectar for the adult butterfly.

Light grazing, preferably by cattle, should be maintained to create a suitable tussocky sward and permit these species to flower in the spring and summer when required.


Devil's bit scabious is the food plant of marsh fritillary. It is found in wet flushed areas with purple moor grass.

Drainage or other interference with these areas should be avoided.