Porthmellin Head to Nare Head IPA

Location: In south Cornwall, Porthmellin Head lies south of Portscatho, the IPA extending east along the coast, round Gerrans Bay.

Grid Reference: SW 877 353

Porthmellin Head to Nare Head IPA has been recognised as one of 165 Important Plant Areas in the UK.

The key features of this IPA are:

  • One of the UK’s most important populations of Many-fruited Beardless-moss
  • On the south Cornish coast, the majority of the Porthmellin Head to Nare Head IPA is steep sea cliffs, their ledges and shores, and the dry grasslands and heathland above them.

    These habitats support nationally rare and nationally scarce plant species, including internationally important populations of shore dock, a European endemic threatened throughout its world range, and the many-fruited beardless-moss, another extremely rare European endemic which in Cornwall (its world stronghold) is now known from just three localities.

    Plants you could see

    Freshwater seepages and damp rock ledges beneath the overhanging cliffs provide suitable habitat for the internationally rare and threatened shore dock. Plants growing in association with it include creeping bent, sea beet, field bindweed, cock's-foot, wild carrot, ribwort plantain, sea plantain and prickly sow-thistle. Other notable species include the nationally scarce hairy bird's-foot-trefoil and Babington's leek.