OXFORDSHIRE NATURE CONSERVATION FORUM

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Chalk & limestone grassland

The Chalk and limestone grassland HAP is implemented by the Open Habitats Task Force. Chalk and limestone grassland are species-rich, agriculturally unimproved grasslands occurring on chalk and limestone soils. This habitat is of international importance and is listed in the European Habitats Directive, supporting a wide range of specialised plants and animals including many rare species. Oxfordshire has large areas of chalk and limestone grassland which make an important contribution to the national resource. There are approximately 550 Ha of chalk grassland and about 100 Ha of limestone grassland in the county. These grasslands support the bulk of the UK populations of meadow clary, Chiltern gentian and downy woundwort.

Chalk and limestone grasslands often support scrub habitats of high value for wildlife. Of particular interest in the Chilterns and Berkshire Downs is the occurrence of juniper.

Some species which will benefit from this HAP:-

Birds
Grey partridge
Lapwing
Skylark
Stone curlew
Turtle dove
Linnet
Meadow pipit
Short-eared owl
Insects and other invertebrates
Adonis blue butterfly
Grizzled skipper butterfly

Silver-spotted skipper butterfly
Chalkhill blue butterfly
Small blue butterfly
Hornet robberfly
Ground beetle Harpalus melleti
Hazel leaf beetle
Heath snail
Glow-worm
Yellow meadow ant
Reptiles
Adder
Slow-worm
Plants
Downy woundwort
Early gentian
Juniper
Meadow clary
Burnt-tip orchid
Chiltern gentian
Common rock-rose
Cowslip
Fragrant orchid
Kidney vetch
Lizard orchid
Meadow crane’s-bill
Pasqueflower
Wild candytuft

 


Other Open Habitat Action Plans
Farmland Grazing Marshes and Neutral Grasslands Hedgerows Heathland
 
Other Habitat Task Forces
Settlements Earth Heritage Wetland Woodlands

 




Other Habitat Task Forces
Open Settlements Wetlands Woodlands