Status: Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) notified under Section 28 of theWildlife and Countryside Act 1981 Local Planning Authorities: WEST WILTSHIRE DISTRICT COUNCIL, WiltshireCounty Council Description and Reasons for Notification:Inwood is a structurally varied and botanically rich example of southern calcareousash-wych elm and dry ash-maple woodland. It supports an extremely rich groundflora including populations of two nationally uncommon plants. The extensive ridesystem incorporates an area of unimproved neutral hay meadow which addsconsiderably to the interest. Both woodland and grassland elements of the siterepresent habitat types which have greatly declined in extent in recent years andremain under threat.
The wood lies on a gentle east facing slope of the oolitic limestone in the southernCotswolds. Immediately to the west the land drops steeply into the Avon Valley.
Much of the site comprises derelict mixed coppice of ash, hazel and field maplewith large areas also holding coppiced wych elm. The elm has been badly affectedby Dutch elm disease and is now largely represented by young regrowth and a littlestanding and fallen dead timber. Some English elm has survived the disease in theform of root suckers only. Standards of mature oak and ash are widespreadalthough the latter are far less frequent. Large beech trees occur sparingly near thetop of the slope.
Beneath the relatively dense canopy there is a diverse shrub layer which includeshawthorn, elder, dogwood, wayfaring tree, spindle and some holly. Many of theseshrubs offer support for the vigorous wild clematis Clematis vitalba.
A rich ground flora is variously dominated by dogÕs mercury Mercurialis perennis,bluebell Hyacinthoides non-scripta, wood anemone Anemone nemorosa andbramble Rubus fruticosus. In the eastern part of the site, especially, there are largenumbers of spiked star-of-Bethlehem Ornithogalum pyrenaicum, a speciesvirtually restricted to a small area of south west England. Other plants indicative oflong-established woodland occur less commonly and include moschatel Adoxamoschatellina, enchanterÕs nightshade Circaea lutetiana, sanicle Sanicula europaea, wood spurge Euphorbia amygdaloides, yellow archangel Lamiastrum galeobdolonand stinking iris Iris foetidissima. Woodland grasses and sedges are widespread, forexample wood melick Melica uniflora, wood false-brome Brachypodium sylvaticum,giant fescue Festuca gigantea, wood-sedge Carex sylvatica and thin-spiked wood-sedge C. strigosa. The shady, slightly damp nature of the wood has allowed manyferns to flourish, such as hartÕs-tongue Phyllitis scolopendrium, broad buckler-fernDryopteris dilitata, scaly male-fern D. affinis and male-fern D. filix-mas.
Inwood is dissected by a ride system incorporating a wide stretch of grasslandnormally cut for hay in summer. This diverse area supports woodland field layerplants such as bluebell, wild strawberry Fragaria vesca and pignut Conopodiummajus as well as more typical grassland plants including oxeye daisyLeucanthemum vulgare, common catÕs-ear Hypochoeris radicata, dwarf thistleCirsium acaule and common milkwort Polygala vulgaris. Of particular note are thelarge populations of both spiked star-of-Bethlehem and the scarce meadow saffronColchicum autumnale, which also grows along some of the narrow rides.
The wood supports a characteristic breeding bird community including thecommoner tits and warblers and the more localised lesser spotted woodpecker. Awide range of woodland and grassland butterfly species are also present, includingpurple hairstreak, holly blue, gatekeeper and small skipper.

Source: http://www.english-nature.org.uk/citation/citation_photo/1004362.pdf


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Extremity dosemeter 02-10.indd

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