West Cornwall Bryophyte Sites IPA
Location: Scattered round Redruth in north west Cornwall. The largest of the sites lies just east of the village of Crofthandy which is on the B3298 running south from the A30.
Grid Reference: SW 741 429
West Cornwall Bryophyte Sites IPA has been recognised as one of 165 Important Plant Areas in the UK.
The key features of this IPA are:
Copper-rich spoil tips resulting from previous mining activity in the vicinity of Redruth have created an excellent environment for the growth of lower plants, whilst higher plants with the exception of some scrubby vegetation, do not thrive.
Seven such areas comprise the West Cornwall Bryophytes SSSIs.
At least 20% of the British populations of the rare liverworts Cephaloziella nicholsonii, C. integerrima, C. massalongi and the moss Scopelophila cataractae are believed to exist at theses sites.
At West Basset Stamps, in addition, Pohlia andalusia, C.stellulifera, Bryum pallescens and Gymonstomum viridulum occur whilst at Dolcoath Road C. calyculata and C. Stellulifera have been recorded. Similar species have been observed at Tolgus Tin Works and Porkellis Moor, whilst, in addition, at Godolphin Bridge and Poldice Valley, the rare moss B. Donianum has been found. Godolphin Bridge has supported Fossombronia caespitiformis.
The higher plants which grow in spite of the high copper levels include European gorse.