Arlington Park and Woods IPA

Location: South of Combe Martin, Devon, off the A39.

Grid Reference: SS 608401


Arlington Park & Woods IPA has been recognised as one of 165 Important Plant Areas in the UK.

The key features of this IPA are:

  • The species richness of lichens in Broadleaved deciduous woodland: parkland and oceanic woodland
  • The Park forms part of the Arlington Court estate. Nestling in the thickly-wooded valley of the River Yeo, the 1,400-ha estate is centred on a Regency house owned and managed by the National Trust. Some of the woodland here appears to have been in existence by as long ago as the early 16th century.

    Lying within an altitude range of 100 m to 180 m the parkland has a mainly south-westerly aspect and the underlying Devonian slates provide a thin, well drained soil. The most important trees here include ash, oak and beech. The parkland slopes more steeply towards the valley bottom, where the river Yeo flows in a southerly direction via a large lake. A dense carr has formed around the northern end of the lake with willows and alder dominating the canopy. Further downstream there is an additional area of carr with ash, oak and hazel becoming more frequent. There are several large, mature oaks here, some of which have collapsed, and there is an abundance of well-rotted trunks and limbs. In the moist air and diverse conditions of this ancient parkland and willow carr a rich lichen community has developed, clinging to or draped from the trees and shrubs. Of particular note are the lichens Cetrelia olivetorum, Heterodermia obscurata and Teloschistes flavicans and rare species, including Bombyliospora pachycarpa, Pannaria conoplea, Parmelia lacinatula, Sticta dufourii and Lecidea carrollii.

    Image: Arlington Park © Kerry Garratt under CC BY-SA 2.0