Objective 1: Restore and enhance habitats as identified by the landscape character action plan

1a – Healthy Bogs

This project seeks to improve the nature conservation status of areas of blanket bog on Elan’s upland plateau. This habitat is important for a range of species and for maintaining the carbon and water storage benefits of the underlying peat. However, over the years, areas have been damaged by peat erosion and ingress of Molinia caerulea('molinia'), an invasive grass species.

Actions to tackle these issues will help to secure the fantastic landscape and species of the upland plateau for the future.

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1b – Better Dry Heath

Elan has many areas of dry heath supporting important animal and plant populations and providing a fantastic display of colour during the flowering season. At the same time the heathland is used for extensive grazing by livestock at certain times of year. 

Some sections of Elan’s dry heath are being invaded by species such as bracken and conifers to the detriment of the habitat.  In other areas, a uniform age profile of heather makes the heathland vulnerable to heather beetle and reduces the diversity of heathland species. 

Invasive species will be cleared from areas of dry heath and a more varied age profile of heather will be created by burning and cutting in order to protect this wonderful habitat for the future.

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1c – Improving our Woodlands

Elan is home to some of the most important Atlantic oak and broadleaved woodland in Europe. They support important assemblages of breeding woodland birds, saproxilic invertebrates and lower plants, especially lichens which are of global significance in Elan for their diversity and rarity of species. These woodlands form the core of a Special Area of Conservation (SAC), underpinned with various Sites of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and are also part of Plantlife’sImportant Plant Area particularly for their lower plant interest.

This project has developed in order to prioritise these SAC woodlands in Elan and to encourage better ecological management to ensure they maintain the diversity of ecological interest. This will be achieved through a variety of actions including:

  • site and species specific thinning;
  • bracken management;
  • encourage grazing, particularly of heavier animals;
  • additional oak planting to improve connectivity;
  • producing an estate wide management plan to ensure the successful management of Elan's woodlands beyond the life of the project.

This project will have specific links with other areas of the Elan Links Project including the wethers programme, projects under objective 10 to include partnership with TirCoed, interpretation and access. 

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