Site Description

A project by Lancaster and Morecambe College students

Fern Survey

on the limestone pavement

In May 2004 students Lancaster & Morecambe College surveyed the distribution of ferns growing on the main limestone pavement exposure at Field of Dreams, Silverdale. This was part of an on-going conservation programme now in its third year by these students who are acquiring work-based conservation skills. The pavement was cleared of ash seedlings/saplings and bramble encroachment in order to reduce competition for limestone flora.

Ferns were surveyed from both surface and grykes in 10 metre wide belt transects from lower to upper level of the pavement. A metre tape was used to divide the total area into six belts and each fern species was identified and recorded within the belt. The vertical height of each belt varied with the extent of the pavement, which merges at its upper level into regenerated woodland dominated by ash, yew and some juniper.

The main species of interest is the rusty back fern which is shown to be very scare and limited to only one small patch. It is intended to review this fern species at regular intervals to see any change in status.

Dr Mike Cotton

LIMESTONE PAVEMENT FERN SURVEY MAY 2004          
           
TRANSECT MAIDENHAIR WALL RUE RUSTY BACK HARTS TONGUE COMMON POLYPODY
0 -10M 30 8 0 4 5
10 - 20M 47 8 0 4 10
20 - 30M 43 11 0 14 1
30 - 40M 39 21 0 15 0
40 - 50M 32 38 0 31 3
50 - 60M 59 29 6 83 5