/ Rare Cliff Plants

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Dave Heaton - on 20 Apr 2013
Hello,

Does anybody know where I could find a list of climbing crags that have rare or endangered plants growing on them?

Any help appreciated.

Dave
Doug on 20 Apr 2013
In reply to Dave Heaton: anywhere in particular ? (even just eg Sctoland, Wales etc )
dale1968 - on 20 Apr 2013
Jonny2vests - on 20 Apr 2013
In reply to Dave Heaton:

The guidebook often tends to have this info.
toad - on 20 Apr 2013
In reply to Dave Heaton: if the site is an SSSI then the citation (downloadble from NE,CCW, SNH etc) will mention the reason for notification if it's botanical species, but the SSSI will usually cover more than just the crag
Dave Heaton - on 21 Apr 2013
In reply to Dave Heaton:

Thanks for the help everyone. I'm writing a paper on the positives and negatives of imposing restrictions on crags and I just wanted to give a few examples of crags that have some pretty rare plant life growing on them.

Cheers,
Dave
John Willson - on 21 Apr 2013
In reply to Dave Heaton: At Wintour's Leap in the Wye Valley unique species of both whitebeam and hawkweed have been found, sometimes actually on or very near climbs. Rather than restricting activity, naturalists have said climbers can be positvely beneficial in keeping down the invasive vegetation if they take a little care with the rarities.
wiwwim - on 21 Apr 2013
In reply to Dave Heaton: rare orchids top of torbryan quarry
Bulls Crack - on 21 Apr 2013
In reply to Dave Heaton:
> (In reply to Dave Heaton)
>
> Thanks for the help everyone. I'm writing a paper on the positives and negatives of imposing restrictions on crags and I just wanted to give a few examples of crags that have some pretty rare plant life growing on them.
>
> Cheers,
> Dave

Not sure if anyone has researched the impacts rigorously beyond the anecdotal? A few years ago there was some sort of joint programme in the Avon Gorge with climbers keeping ledges clear of heavy vegetation to encourage one particular species but hard to pin down impacts unless it's obvious eg cleaning new cliffs.
Doug on 21 Apr 2013
In reply to Bulls Crack: There have been several papers on the effects of climbing on vegetation (put rockclimbing vegetation into Google Scholar for a long list), fewer look at the effect on rare plants, one widely cited study that does is Müller, Stefan W., Hans-Peter Rusterholz, and Bruno Baur. "Rock climbing alters the vegetation of limestone cliffs in the northern Swiss Jura Mountains." Canadian journal of botany 82.6 (2004): 862-870.

If you want examples, as suggested look at SSSI citations, those I know would include Lochnagar, Idwal & Northern Corries of Cairngorm.

I also think there was a thread about a study by a student at Aberdeen on the effect of winter climbing on plants/vegetation - probably worth a search
Bulls Crack - on 21 Apr 2013
In reply to Doug:

Not my study but thanks for that - I hadn't used Google Scholar before.
Dave Heaton - on 21 Apr 2013
In reply to Dave Heaton:

Some really useful stuff there, thanks everyone.
Doug - I've read that article, along with several other similar ones. Very interesting. The overall conclusion seems to be that rock climbing does cause damage to cliff vegetation. I'll have a search for the article on winter climbing, could add an intersting twist. Thank you.
John - I didn't know about that. I'll look into it, sounds like it could be very helpful in showing both sides of the arrgument for and against imposing restrictions.

Cheers,
Dave
Stone Idol - on 21 Apr 2013
In reply to Dave Heaton: Carn Vellan in Cornwall is a SSSI - but many of the lesser used Cornish crags have crevice communities of more or less rarity.
In reply to Dave Heaton:
Interesting topic and obviously one we have a great interest in at the BMC! Give me a call in the week if you want a chat about this as its quite erroneous to assume that all climbing activity can be harmful to cliff plants. Lots of examples where climbing activity can be beneficial and even when the impact can be harmful there's lots of mitigating actions and good practise that will reduce the impact.
Elfyn (BMC Access & Conservation Officer for Wales)
Michael Ryan - on 22 Apr 2013
Michael Ryan - on 22 Apr 2013
Baron Weasel - on 22 Apr 2013
In reply to Dave Heaton: The Lakes Winter guide has a nice bit about rare plant life around the Helvellyn coves. It mentions upland Juniper and Downy Willow (of which there are just 10 growing!)

Some info here:

http://www.lakedistrictweatherline.co.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0017/132506/winter_guide_conservatio...

BW
ads.ukclimbing.com
In reply to Dave Heaton: The new FRCC/Cicerone Lake District Winter Climbs guide is pretty comprehensive in that respect.

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