Longbeech Mire

Longbeech

Longbeech Mire

Where it is
Long Beech Mire is located just north of the A31 at Stoney Cross. Ocknell Campsite is immediately to the west, and Long Beech Campsite is just over 500m to the north, on the other side of Long Beech Inclosure. There is a waymarked cycle route that uses an informal vehicle track that runs along the southern edge of the site. This area experiences a medium level of use by the public, mostly accessing the area on foot.

Long Beech Mire is a small mire catchment on the Open Forest, which drains northwards into Long Beech Inclosure and the Coalmeer Gutter. Long Beech Inclosure dates from 1775, and is currently still dominated with oak and beech plantations from this time. In addition there are some small areas of Douglas fir, Norway spruce and larch that were planted in the mid 1960s. The current Forest Design Plan objective is for the phased removal of conifers and restoration to pasture woodland.

Why it’s a problem
Long Beech Mire and Long Beech Inclosure SSSI units were assessed by Natural England as being in unfavourable condition in 2014, due to the headward erosion of the mire tributaries, which was identified as being due mainly to unconsolidated stock crossing points along the watercourse, and the presence of artificial drainage beside the Inclosure boundary. 

What needs to be done to restore it
On the Open Forest, the restoration work involves the repair of four heavily poached and eroded areas and construction of two gravel fords on the eastern mire tributary, and the repair of erosion nick points and construction of a gravel ford on the western mire tributary. This will protect the fragile mire habitats and prevent further loss through erosion. Formalising two gravel ford locations will reduce damage from stock poaching.

Within Long Beech Inclosure, a deep drain running through dense bracken in the south-western corner of the Inclosure will be bed level raised for a distance of 200m, until it becomes a more natural channel within the woodland. This will spread the water across a wider area of floodplain, slowing run-off, reducing erosion and suppressing bracken

Related documents

Longbeech Mire Restoration Plan Map