Heath Facts

A few facts about Red Lodge heath

Red Lodge Heath SSSI comprises 20.75 ha of a unique mix of habitats associated with the Brecks landscape area. This is comprised of a mosaic of dry acid grassland, chalk grassland, lichen heath and wet woodland with ponds.

The site supports a nationally important assemblage of invertebrates, chiefly associated with dry grassland and wet woodland with ponds, including a population of the nationally rare five-banded tailed digger wasp Cerceris quinquefasciata. The site also supports a nationally important assemblage of rare plants.

The chalk grassland found on he site is intensively rabbit-grazed and has short turf in places. Typical plants here include sheep’s fescue Festuca ovina, lady’s bedstraw Galium verum, kidney vetch Anthyllis vulneraria, dove’s-foot cranesbill Geranium molle, rough hawkbit Leontodon hispidus and yarrow Achillea millefolium.

Where the soils are chalky but less intensively grazed there is grassland dominated by false oat-grass Arrhenatherum elatius but containing a chalk-rich flora, including sheep’s fescue and lady’s bedstraw, small scabious Scabiosa columbaria, greater knapweed Centaurea scabiosa and wild parsnip Pastinaca sativa. The chalk grasslands are the most species-rich for plants.

The acid grassland is also intensively rabbit-grazed and has short turf in places. Typical species include sheep’s fescue, bird’s foot Ornithopus perpusillus, sheep’s sorrel Rumex acetosella and mouse-ear hawkweed Hieracium pilosella.