Crieff Woods IPA
Location: Northwest of Comrie on the A85, and to the north and east of Drummond Castle, off the A822 south of Crieff.
Grid Reference: NN 846 183
Crieff Woods IPA has been recognised as one of 165 Important Plant Areas in the UK.
The key features of this IPA are:
Old oak woodlands with holly
The Crieff Woods form one of the largest old broadleaved woodlands in Tayside, and are comprised of two fantastically diverse wooded areas; Comrie and Drummond Woods.
Comrie Woods represents the largest area of sessile oakwood in Perth and Kinross. There is good diversity of woodland habitat, being mainly of ancient semi-natural origin but also notable for the generally few exotic tree species. Drummond Wood is made up of semi-natural broadleaved woodland. 2 volcanic dykes bound the woodland to the west of the site, and these topographical characteristics result in high humidity that gives the woodland the feature of being internationally important for its lichens.
The Comrie Woods site is of some value for the rarity of its flowering plants, with one nationally scarce plant – Narrow-leaved helleborine (although not recorded for a number of years) and nine locally uncommon species in the Lednock Gorge area (please see walk information below). There is a rich lichen flora, especially on a few mature ash and sycamore trees, and the valley alderwood contains the local sedge (Smooth-stalked sedge).
The Drummond wood site is area of ancient oakwood which, together with adjacent alder/ash wood, is of national importance for its lichen flora with an outstandingly high number of epiphytic species including many characteristic of old woodland and a large number of rare species. The woodland also contains several suboceanic epiphytic bryophytes and flowering plant species of restricted distribution. The emergent vegetation fringing the lochs is also of interest, containing a number of plants of local occurrence. In addition one of the ponds (Bennybeg) is surrounded by a thin belt of fen with areas of wet broadleaved woodland.