LLYN PADRIG SITE OF SPECIAL SCIENTIFIC INTEREST
SITE MANAGEMENT STATEMENT
What is ‘special’ about Llyn Padrig SSSI?
Llyn Padrig has 2 special features:
A moderately productive (mesotrophic) wetland, where wetland plant communities have developed in a former lake basin in which an area of open water is still present.
Autumnal Water Starwort, A rare water plant found in the area of open water
As well as the features listed above, Llyn Padrig has other habitats that contribute to the special interest. These include marshy grassland a lake and an area of scrub and wet woodland which includes willow, alder and birch These habitats help to support several nationally scarce water plants; hair-like-pondweed, waterwort, slender spike-rush and several other unusual water plants found within pools and the remaining lake area.
Unless specified below, management of this site should aim to look after these habitats as well as the listed features of interest.
Llyn Padrig should continue to display mesotrophic mire communities. The majority of the site should be covered by a 'lawn' of sphagnum (bogmoss) and common wetland herbs such as bogbean and marsh cinquefoil. Also growing here should be bottle sedge, common cotton grass, and the moss Calliergon cuspidatum. Other associated plants should include the uncommon greater spearwort. Patches of alder and grey willow shouldoccur around the perimeter of the site. There should be damp grassland communities on the drier margins of the basin and the lake itself should contain several uncommon water plants including autumnal water-starwort.
Although Llyn Padrig is an excellent place for wildlife it will only remain so if the necessary management continues. CCW’s priority is to work with you to ensure that this management is carried out.
What does this mean in practice?
There are many factors that could damage the special features at Llyn Padrig if they are not properly managed. These are the ones we regard as most important:
Grazing: Light grazing removes excess plant material and delays or stops natural succession to woodland. The most appropriate grazers here are cattle or ponies as they can maintain open areas in wetland by browsing scrub and by light poaching of the ground. It may be necessary to restrict them to the wetland areas at certain times to encourage removal of excess plant material. Animal dung also provides an important food resource for some invertebrates. There should be no supplementary feeding with silage as this increases soil nutrient levels. Hay may be fed in severe weather and mineral licks used to enable the animals to digest coarse material and small quantities of concentrates to keep livestock tame.
Willow Scrub: Scrub (including willow and gorse) provides nesting places for birds and shelter for other animals. However too much scrub can alter the special qualities of the wetland site, shading and smothering the sphagnum lawns. Grazing alone may not be enough to prevent scrub expansion and manual control may sometimes be necessary.
Water Quality: Good water quality is essential for maintenance of the characteristic assemblage of wetland plants and animals at Llyn Padrig. Nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorous encourage competitive plants such as floating sweet-grass and common reed which can smother the less common (and more desirable) species at Llyn Padrig. This in turn would have a negative effect upon the animals that depend on these plants. Measures to enhance soil fertility, including fertiliser, slurry or waste applications within the catchment of the site are therefore likely to be harmful to the special interest features of Llyn Padrig.
Ploughing and reseeding: Cultivation of grassland and/or reseeding is damaging to the marshy grassland interest and must not occur.
Water levels: Past drainage at Llyn Padrig has seen the water levels drop by approximately 2 meters... A high water table is essential for the survival of wetland plants and animals. It is therefore important that no work is carried out which would lower water levels on the site – for example by widening or deepening ditches. Some wetland plants and animals require very shallow surface water or moving groundwater, but deep or prolonged flooding can destroy these. Raising water to the pre-drainage level (indicated by a “raised beach” and wet seepage zone around much of the site) would restore the original depth of water and increase the area of wetland but should not be undertaken without careful assessment and agreement with landowners.. It is important that the current water supply to the site through springs, groundwater seepage and surface run off is maintained.
Our knowledge of wildlife is far from complete. It is possible that new features of value may appear and new management issues may arise in the future, whilst other issues may disappear. This statement is written with the best information we have now, but may have to change in the future as our understanding improves. Any information you can provide on the wildlife of your site, its management and its conservation would be much appreciated.
If you would like to discuss any aspect of your SSSI, or have any concerns about your SSSI, please contact your local CCW office.
Your local office is;
Cyngor Cefn Gwlad Cymru/Countryside Council for Wales
North Wales Region
Llys y Bont,
Ffordd y Parc,
Gwynedd, LL57 4BN,
Fax: 01248 679259