Welcome to the Cumbria Biodiversity Data Centre

PRIORITY HABITAT STATEMENTS

Cumbria-specific habitat statements are provided covering all priority habitats occurring in Cumbria, except the 'arable field margins’. They are listed below under the UK BAP Broad Habitat headings. Please note that since these Cumbrian statements were last amended the national descriptions have moved (and in the case of Rivers and Open Mosaic Habitats on Previously Developed Land the scope clarified) so the UK Priority Habitat statements links at the start of each Cumbrian statement are broken; these can now be found here.

Download all statements or individually:

 
RIVERS AND STREAMS

RIVERS

Widespread and diverse priority habitat supporting a range of internationally important species. Most larger scale developments have the potential to impact on this habitat.

Priority Habitats: Rivers

Current Version: 1.2 - April 2010   Download statement [PDF]

 
STANDING OPEN WATERS AND CANALS

LAKES, PONDS AND TARNS

A range of habitats from lowland to upland, large to small, nutrient-rich to nutrient-poor. All can be impacted upon by changes to water flows or pollution, and by direct physical damage.

Priority Habitats: Mesotrophic lakes; Oligotrophic and dystrophic lakes; Ponds

Current Version: 1.2 - April 2010   Download statement [PDF]

 
BOUNDARY AND LINEAR FEATURES

HEDGEROWS

Almost all hedgerows are now priority habitat; this recognises their intrinsic biodiversity value, and their value as movement and feeding corridors for wildlife. It is easy to modify management to enhance the biodiversity value.

Priority Habitats: Hedgerows

Current Version: 1.2 - April 2010   Download statement [PDF]

 
BROADLEAVED, MIXED AND YEW WOODLAND

TRADITIONAL ORCHARDS

Scattered traditional orchards and groups of fruit trees help to sustain wildlife links through the landscape of Cumbria. They can also have significant cultural and community value.

Priority Habitats: Traditional Orchards

Current Version: 1.2 - April 2010   Download statement [PDF]

 

WOOD-PASTURE AND PARKLAND

Veteran trees and dead wood are essential to the survival of an array of invertebrates, fungi, lichens and mosses, and provide important natural roosting sites for many bat species. Tree replacement for the long-term future is essential.

Priority Habitats: Wood-pasture and Parkland

Current Version: 1.2 - April 2010   Download statement [PDF]

 

SEMI-NATURAL WOODLAND

The type of woodland in any location depends on the geology, soil type, hydrology, climate and altitude of the site. Local conditions can be such that a woodland can have more than one of these types, and new planting should also reflect this.

Priority Habitats: Upland Oakwood; Lowland Beech and Yew Woodland; Upland Mixed Ashwoods; Wet Woodland; Lowland Mixed Deciduous Woodland

Current Version: 1.2 - April 2010   Download statement [PDF]

 
ACID GRASSLAND

LOWLAND DRY ACID GRASSLAND

An uncommon habitat, often important for reptiles, that occurs in areas that may once have been lowland heath.

Priority Habitats: Lowland Dry Acid Grassland

Current Version: 1.2 - April 2010   Download statement [PDF]

 
CALCAREOUS GRASSLAND

CALCAREOUS GRASSLAND

Flower-rich grasslands on poor limestone or base-rich soils which support some of our rarest butterflies.

Priority Habitats: Lowland Calcareous Grassland; Upland Calcareous Grassland

Current Version: 1.2 - April 2010   Download statement [PDF]

 
NEUTRAL GRASSLAND

HAY MEADOWS AND PASTURES

These are flower-rich grasslands that need traditional cutting and/or grazing to maintain their species diversity and prevent scrub colonisation. Also found on some roadside verges, churchyards and other public land.

Priority Habitats: Lowland Meadows; Upland Hay Meadows

Current Version: 1.2 - April 2010   Download statement [PDF]

 
IMPROVED GRASSLAND

COASTAL AND FLOODPLAIN GRAZING MARSH

This priority habitat is particularly important for breeding, over-wintering and migrating birds, and relies on seasonal inundation.

Priority Habitats: Coastal and Floodplain Grazing Marsh

Current Version: 1.2 - April 2010   Download statement [PDF]

 
DWARF SHRUB HEATH

HEATHLAND

This priority habitat supports a distinctive array of breeding birds. It has suffered from over-grazing but has recovered in recent years through less-intensive management to become a distinctive landscape feature in late summer.

Priority Habitats: Lowland Heathland; Upland Heathland

Current Version: 1.2 - April 2010   Download statement [PDF]

 
FEN, MARSH AND SWAMP

FEN, MARSH AND SWAMP

A range of wetland priority habitats that require various water regimes. All would be negatively impacted upon by inflowing water pollution, nutrient enrichment or drainage.

Priority Habitats: Upland Flushes, Fens and Swamps; Purple Moor Grass and Rush Pastures; Lowland Fens; Reedbeds

Current Version: 1.2 - April 2010 Download statement [PDF]

 
BOGS

BOGS

Bogs are acid peatlands supporting specialised flora and fauna, fed predominantly by rain water. They require water-logging for peat formation and this peat acts as a carbon sink.

Priority Habitats: Lowland Raised Bog; Blanket Bog

Current Version: 1.2 - April 2010 Download statement [PDF]

 
MONTANE HABITATS

MONTANE HABITATS

High level habitat on mountain tops in Cumbria. Its extent and species composition are very likely to suffer as a result of climate change.

Priority Habitats: Mountain Heaths and Willow Scrub

Current Version: 1.2 - April 2010 Download statement [PDF]

 
INLAND ROCK

ROCK HABITATS

These priority habitats support specialised and characteristic flora and fauna. Cumbria has more than one third of the limestone pavement habitat in Britain.

Priority Habitats: Inland Rock Outcrop and Scree Habitats; Limestone Pavements

Current Version: 1.2 - April 2010 Download statement [PDF]

 

CALAMINARIAN GRASSLANDS

This priority habitat supports a unique range of wildflowers on heavy metal rich soils associated with the lead mining industry, or in similar natural situations.

Priority Habitats: Calaminarian Grasslands

Current Version: 1.2 - April 2010 Download statement [PDF]

 

OPEN MOSAIC HABITATS ON PREVIOUSLY DEVELOPED LAND

Post-industrial land can develop an exceptionally diverse range of flora and fauna. This priority habitat is at risk from policies promoting redevelopment on brownfield land.

Priority Habitats: Open Mosaic Habitats on Previously Developed Land

Current Version: 1.2 - April 2010 Download statement [PDF]

 
SUPRALITTORAL ROCK & SEDIMENT

COASTAL HABITATS ABOVE HIGH WATER

These priority habitats, formed by natural coastal processes, occur along the majority of Cumbria’s coast. They provide positive opportunities for public access and enjoyment though this requires active management.

Priority Habitats: Maritime Cliff and Slopes; Coastal Vegetated Shingle; Coastal Sand Dunes

Current Version: 1.2 - April 2010 Download statement [PDF]

 
MARINE HABITATS: LITTORAL AND SUBLITTORAL ROCK AND SEDIMENT

COASTAL INTERTIDAL HABITATS

A range of wildlife-rich priority habitats between high and low tide; their form is dependent on their coastal location, degree of wave action and substrate.

Priority Habitats: LITTORAL ROCK: Intertidal boulder communities; Sabellaria alveolata reefs; LITTORAL SEDIMENT: Coastal saltmarsh; Intertidal mudflats; Sheltered muddy gravels; Peat and clay exposures; Seagrass beds; SUBLITTORAL ROCK: Estuarine rocky habitats; SUBLITTORAL SEDIMENT: Blue mussel beds

Current Version: 1.2 - April 2010 Download statement [PDF]

 

SALINE LAGOONS

In Cumbria this habitat is found in man-made locations, such as docks, gravel and mine workings. They support a range of wildfowl, waders and sea birds and provide excellent bird watching opportunities.

Priority Habitats: SUBLITTORAL SEDIMENT: Saline Lagoons

Current Version: 1.2 - April 2010 Download statement [PDF]

 

COASTAL SUBTIDAL HABITATS

Below the tidal limit Cumbria’s seabed is almost entirely of mud, silt, sand and gravel sediments, with specialised animal life. These habitats can be damaged by a variety of development and fishing activities.

Priority Habitats: SUBLITTORAL ROCK: Tide-swept channels; SUBLITTORAL SEDIMENT: Subtidal sands and gravels

Current Version: 1.2 - April 2010 Download statement [PDF]