Mid Cornwall Moors IPA
Location: Mid Cornwall, to the north and south of the A30, east of Indian Queens.
Grid Reference: SW 954 601
Mid Cornwall Moors IPA has been recognised as one of 165 Important Plant Areas in the UK.
This area of heathland covers 9 sites.
The moors exhibit a mosaic of different habitats, dry and wet heathland, acid grassland, bog, swamp, fen, and openwater which support a wide range of species, some being very rare.
On the dry heathland, heather, bell heather and western gorse are much in evidence in contrast to the acid grassland with its populations of wavy hair-grass and purple moor-grass. In wetter areas cross-leaved heath abounds and it is here that you may find the early marsh orchid and the lesser butterfly orchid.
The bog flora is diverse with Sphagnum moss, comon cottongrass, round leaved sundew, with bog myrtle, bog asphodel and bog pimpernel being much in evidence.
Rare species such as the three-lobed crowfoot, yellow centaury, marsh club-moss and pillwort have all been recorded in the area. Ponds and marshland support a very different range of species such as the yellow loosestrife, marsh violet and greater bird’s foot trefoil.
Scarce plants such as the Cornish moneywort and the waxy-leaved St John’s-wort may also be seen here. St John’s-wort and ivy-leaved bellflower fringes the ponds, whilst bogbean and marsh cinquefoil emerge from the ponds themselves.
Considerable areas of willow carr support epiphytic flora such as the rare lichen Usnea articulata.
Image: Eyebrights © Laurie Campbell