Habitat in Focus; Ffridd

ffridd conservation grazing with cattle pont cymruffridd conservation grazing pont cymruFfridd habitat is an upland habitat, defined as the fringe between more intensively managed upland fields and the open mountain habitats, at altitudes between 100m and 450m [2]. It can include a matrix of different habitats including heath, acid grassland, bog, bracken, rocky outcrops and trees. Generally ffridd habitat has remained unimproved due to a lack of accessibility. This mix of habitats makes ffridd a very biodiverse habitat, supporting many species of plants and wildlife.

In Wales, our ffridd habitat supports bird species such as ring ouzel yellowhammer and linnet, which are found in higher densities here than in any other habitat in the UK [1]. Acid grassland with a matrix of heath or bracken provides sheltered conditions for butterflies such as the dark green fritillary and for reptiles such as adder. Rare Welsh clearwing moth can be found in ffridd, for example at Gilfach Nature Reserve near Rhayader. Rocky outcrops and tree branches also support important lichens and bryophytes.

yellowhammer ffridd conservation grazing pont cymruFfridd habitats require grazing as a lack of grazing can lead to over-dominance of bracken and gorse. Ffridd in Wales is threatened by both lack of grazing and tree planting, which can lead to a loss of the rich mosaic of habitats. We are helping to establish or manage grazing on ffridd sites across Wales, such as Coity Wallia Commons in Bridgend, South Wales and on the Carneddau Mountains in North Wales.

Get in touch for assistance with managing ffridd habitat with grazing animals.

[1] Ffridd- A habitat on the Edge. RSPB

[2] Habitat Survey of Wales (1979-1997)


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