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The Biodiversity Audit of North West England (1999) lists 474 taxa of vascular plants
of "conservation importance", 145 of which occur on the Sefton Coast. Whittling
these down to a manageable number for Species Action Plans has been a daunting
task. Two, Dune Helleborine and Isle of Man Cabbage, are listed as UK Priority or
endemic species, so these were obvious choices. Another, Early Sand-grass, occurs
here on its only English site and it too was felt to deserve inclusion in the main body
of the BAP.
A short-list of another 18 plants that seemed to merit special conservation measures
was drawn up and 7 chosen for Species Action Plans. These are all nationally rare or
nationally scarce plants for which the Sefton Coast is especially important. In
addition, their status is fairly well known and, in most cases, their habitat
requirements well understood. They are dealt with together in this group SAP rather
than in individual SAPs - not because they are regarded as being of lesser importance
but partly because their conservation demands are often very similar and partly in
order to avoid appearing to give undue weight to the Sefton Coast within the BAP as a
whole. The 2008 review of the North Merseyside BAP led to three more species, for
which there is recent detailed survey data, being added.
It is hoped that the species selected give a representative overview of the conservation
issues facing plants on the Sefton Coast.
A brief summary of their status and requirements for all of the taxa included is given
in section two. Section three details the SMART targets for all taxa. Each taxon
included in the plan is then given more detailed treatment in subsequent sections.