Brown Moss Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI), SAC (Special Area of Conservation) and Ramsar site, is of international significance for its range of wetland flora, including Annex II species Floating Water-Plantain, Luronium natans.
Brown Moss is a Common which used to comprise a mosaic of open heathland, acid grassland, pools and wetland with scrub and scattered trees supporting an exceptional wetland flora. Lack of grazing and management due to a decline in commoners exercising their rights (grazing cattle, sheep, ponies, pigs, estovers, gravel extraction etc) over the decades has enabled much of the site to become colonised with Birch, Oak and Sycamore with Alder and Willow in and around the wetter areas. A report by the Smallwoods Association (Jan 2014) estimates that 80% of the trees are 20-40yrs old. The overshading and leaf fall has led to the disappearance of many of the rare species of the pools and margins.
The aim for this contract is to clear scrub and trees from pools and a 5-10margin from the edges of the pools; and to desilt three of the 11 pools.
The open habitats will be kept open subsequently by grazing and continued scrub management.