North Merseyside Biodiversity Action Plan: Petalwort

By | August 8, 2008

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1. CURRENT STATUS
1.1 National
1.1.1 Petalwort is a nationally scarce liverwort found mainly in damp, lime-rich sand-dune slacks. It occurs in 16 Vice Counties in Britain and two in
Northern Ireland. The largest known populations are in Cornwall, Devon, Cardigan, Anglesey, South Lancashire, Northumberland and West Ross. It is thought that 25 - 49% of its global population occurs in Britain.

1.1.2 Petalwort is a Priority Species within the UK Biodiversity Action Plan on account of the threat to its populations.

1.2 Local
1.2.1 Petalwort is confined to the Sefton Coast in north Merseyside and Northwest England. It has been known from dune slacks in the Ainsdale and
Southport area since 1861.

1.2.2 Recent surveys by M. Newton and D. Wrench have located and mapped the plant in several slacks within the Ainsdale and Birkdale Sandhills LNR. Wrench records 47 different ‘populations’, though many are situated in the same slack. It seems to prefer damp ground around the edges of fairly recently formed slacks where competing plant life is low. Light trampling, which keeps ground vegetation sparse, may be beneficial.