Ben Nevis IPA
Location: South east of Fort William in Inverness-shire.
Grid Reference: NN 165 715
Ben Nevis IPA has been recognised as one of 166 Important Plant Areas in the UK.
The key features of this IPA are:
Calcareous rocks with crack & fissure vegetation;
The Ben Nevis IPA is an extensive and predominantly upland site which encompasses several summits over 1200m, including
Plants you could see
The lower slopes are heather moorland, grass and peaty bogs. Look out for blaeberry (bilberry), heather, mat grass, mosses, thyme and milkworts. Bracken is abundant. Higher up (400-700 m) the main habitats are wet heath, upland grassland and bog. Plants include deer-grass, common butterwort, sundews and bog asphodel. Higher still (700-1200 m), wind-stunted heath precedes weather-shattered scree. Alpine plants such as alpine ladies mantle, procumbent pearlwort, alpine speedwell and dwarf cudweed may be found. You may spot any of a number of alpine saxifrages including yellow mountain saxifrage, starry saxifrage, purple saxifrage, tufted saxifrage, alpine brook saxifrage, golden saxifrage and alpine saxifrage On the summit plateau (1200-1334 m) there are few flowers and vegetation is limited to mainly mosses and lichens, many of which are arctic-alpine species. They include woolly fringe-moss, forming a dense covering on boulders and ground.
Springtime: bluebell, heath dog violet, marsh marigold, barren strawberry
Summer: bog asphodel, common butterwort, purple saxifrage, wild thyme
Autumn and winter: ivy, gorse, a variety of mosses, lichens and fungi including charcoal burner, golden waxcap and orange peel fungus.
Image: Ben Nevis and the Grey Corries IPA © Anna Trafford