Milton Wood IPA

Location: By the River Ericht, south east of Netherton, east of the A93 about 18 miles north of Perth.

Grid Reference: NO 165 509

Milton Wood 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
  • The species richness of lichens in boreal woodland.
  • Lying on the east bank of the River Ericht, Milton Wood consists of an area of mainly ancient woodland on a bank above the river and in the den of the Burn of Drimmie at the southern end.

    The wood contains an unusually wide range of woodland types including fen, slope, and acid alderwood - a mixture that's very rare in Central Scotland. The site is particularly important for its wet woodland, lichens, which include a large number of rarities and an abundance of old woodland indicator species.

    The woodland consists mainly of slope alder woodland with areas of fen and acid alderwood in mosaic with upland mixed ash, birch and oak woodland.

    The ground flora is species-rich owing to the variety of woodland types and varies from basic rich, typically with dog’s mercury, to acid and to wet and almost quaking vegetation. The wetter alder areas have an unusual species assemblage with three relatively rare sedges: lesser pond-sedge, brown sedge, and remote sedge.

    Other uncommon species include wood melick grass, woodruff, both in the gorge of the Drimmie Burn, and common toothwort, wood sedge and sanicle. Of particular note is the nationally rare whorled Solomon’s-seal which is only found in a handful of gorge woodlands in the UK - all in Perth and Kinross.

    The bryophyte flora (mosses and liverworts) is also diverse with a number of unusual species, such as the nationally scarce beck pocket-moss and British featherwort. Milton Wood ranks as the richest lichen woodland in Eastern Scotland. With over 200 species, it includes a large number of rarities such as the nationally rare granular lichen, and the tree catapyrenium at its only known location in Britain.