Lordenshaw, Forest Burn IPA
Location: At the eastern edge of Northumberland National Park, west of the B6342, about 2.5 miles south of Rothbury.
Grid Reference: NZ 056 980
This IPA is located to the south of the Northumberland village of Lordenshaw and lies within Rothbury Forest.It covers 22 hectares of the Simonside Hills Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) which features an impressive sandstone ridge.The local area is well known for its Bronze Age rock carvings, a hill fort and several cairns.
The site follows the tree-lined watercourse of Grain Spike which flows into Forest Burn.The surrounding land is currently used as rough pasture and a variety of moorland plant species can be found. However, it is an extremely rare and tiny moss which makes this site important.At only 3-4mm high and growing on moist rocks by the shady river bank, the water rock-bristle (Seligeria carniolica) can easily be overlooked. A keen eye might spot thin leaves looking like ‘bristles’ of dark green or black hair.
Lordenshaw is the only site in the UK where this bryophyte can be found and the plant is classified as Critically Endangered in the UK.It is the only member of this genus to be found in Europe.Key factors in protecting this rare plant are preventing overgrazing which stops trees regenerating and protecting water quality.