West Cornwall Bryophytes Site of Special Scientific Interest

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West Cornwall Bryophytes SSSI
Site of Special Scientific Interest
West Bassett Stamps - geograph.org.uk - 353846.jpg
Disused buildings of the West Basset Stamps location
West Cornwall Bryophytes Site of Special Scientific Interest is located in Cornwall
West Cornwall Bryophytes Site of Special Scientific Interest
Shown within Cornwall (mainland)
Area of Search Cornwall
Grid reference SW661407
Coordinates 50°13′13″N 5°16′47″W / 50.2204°N 5.2796°W / 50.2204; -5.2796Coordinates: 50°13′13″N 5°16′47″W / 50.2204°N 5.2796°W / 50.2204; -5.2796
Interest Biological
Area 53.93 hectares (0.539 km2; 0.208 sq mi)
Notification 1999 (1999)
Natural England website

The West Cornwall Bryophytes Site of Special Scientific Interest is a group of seven locations of former mining activity, that form a single SSSI and Important Plant Area in western Cornwall, England, United Kingdom. The site is noted for its biological characteristics and derives its name from the rare bryophyte species found there.

Geography[edit]

The SSSI comprises seven individual sites, spread over a 9-mile (14 km) radius around the towns of Camborne, Redruth and Helston, totalling an area of 53.9 hectares (133 acres).[1][2]

Site Name OS grid reference[3] Coordinates NE map
1 Godolphin Bridge SW597324 50°08′36″N 5°21′50″W / 50.143338°N 5.363905°W / 50.143338; -5.363905 Map
2 Dolcoath Road SW661403 50°13′01″N 5°16′46″W / 50.216829°N 5.279345°W / 50.216829; -5.279345 Map
3 Tolgus Tin Works SW688445 50°15′20″N 5°14′39″W / 50.255602°N 5.244124°W / 50.255602; -5.244124 Map
4 Tolgus Tin Works leat SW690441 50°15′08″N 5°14′28″W / 50.252089°N 5.241079°W / 50.252089; -5.241079 Map
5 West Basset Stamps SW690402 50°13′01″N 5°14′19″W / 50.217071°N 5.238703°W / 50.217071; -5.238703 Map
6 Poldice Valley SW741428 50°14′33″N 5°10′08″W / 50.242388°N 5.168879°W / 50.242388; -5.168879 Map
7 Porkellis Moor SW688326 50°08′56″N 5°14′13″W / 50.148751°N 5.236881°W / 50.148751; -5.236881 Map

Wildlife and ecology[edit]

All of the areas making up the site are situated on disused mining land. The copper laden spoil tips, along with the derelict mine buildings, support populations of rare bryophytes (mosses and liverworts).[3] As a result Plantlife has designated the whole site an Important Plant Area.[4]

The site mainly supports the nationally rare liverwort species of Cephaloziella integerrima, Cephaloziella massalongi and Cephaloziella nicholsonii, as well as the nationally rare moss Scopelophila cataractae. The populations found here represent 20% of the total known populace of these species within Britain. Cephaloziella integerrima has only been found in two other sites within the British Isles.[3]

At the Godolphin Bridge location, the nationally rare Pohlia andalusica and the nationally scarce Bryum donianum and Cephaloziella stellulifera can be found, along with Cephaloziella massalongi, Fossombronia caespitiformis and Scopelophila cataractae.[3]

The Dolcoath Road area supports the nationally rare Cephaloziella integerrima and Cephaloziella nicholsonii, as well as the nationally scarce Cephaloziella calyculata and Pohlia andalusica.[3]

On both of the Tolgus Tin Works sites grow the four main bryophyte species along with Pohlia andalusica, which produces capsules only at this location in Britain.[3]

The West Basset Stamps location supports the three main liverworts along with Pohlia andalusica, Cephaloziella stellulifera and the nationally scarce mosses Bryum pallescens and the capsule producing Gymnostomum viridulum, again only at this site in Britain.[3]

Poldice Valley supports Cephaloziella nicholsonii, Cephaloziella stellulifera, Pohlia andalusica and Bryum donianum.[3]

On the exposed areas of the spoil tips on Porkellis Moor can be found the three main liverworts as well as Pohlia andalusica.[3]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "West Cornwall Bryophytes map". Natural England. Retrieved 31 January 2012. 
  2. ^ Ordnance Survey: Landranger map sheet 203 Land's End ISBN 978-0-319-23148-7
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i "West Cornwall Bryophytes". Natural England. 1999. Retrieved 31 January 2012. 
  4. ^ "West Cornwall Bryophyte SSSIs". Plantlife. Retrieved 2 February 2012.