Right up at the top end of Ramscombe, almost at Crowcombe Park Gate is a boggy stream or mire fed by an intermittent spring of fresh water. It is an uncommon environment and a number of rare wild flowers have been recorded there in the wet acidic soil unshaded from the sun. However the site also attracts the grazing animals of the common and in recent years some of the rare flowers have been unable to flower and set seed as a result of the grazing and the footfall of hooves of the ponies, sheep, cattle and deer. If this continues they will die out.
As landowners and conservationists Friends of Quantock have arranged to have the mire fenced off and gated to regulate the grazing. The fences were erected just in time last week and already after the rain we can see heath spotted orchids (right), bog asphodel and lots of bog pimpernel which would normally have been nipped off by sheep. Our intention is to reopen the gates in October to prevent the development of more common scrub plants which may overwhelm the rarer ones, and to monitor the outcome.
We are grateful for the cooperation of the Quantock Commoners whose animals graze the Common and to Natural England for approving the normally forbidden erection of fencing.
The Enclosed Mire