Scrub (definition)

Durham Lowland Priority Habitats
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Scrub Habitat Definition

There is no overall target set for the extent or condition of Scrub, and as a large scale transitional community it is difficult to map. However, for the purposes of this plan a coastal strip has been defined as a 500m buffer from the coast (mean high water), within which the cover of scrub will be monitored. A target has been set for the extent of scrub within this coastal strip.

Identification & Mapping

Scrub comprises scattered or dense stands of naturally regenerated locally native tree and shrub species, generally under 5m tall.

This plan concerns scrub which is regarded as having a nigh nature conservation value (as defined by JNCC report 308 The nature conservation value of scrub in Britain, 2000)

Scrub vegetation may have high conservation value for one or more of the following reasons:

  • The conservation value of the shrub species present
    Some scrub types are dominated by shrub species that are of conservation importance because of their rarity, for example juniper, box or downy willow
  • The conservation value of other species associated with the scrub type
    Scrub composed of woody species of low botanical interest may be of considerable value to particular rare species or groups of associated species
  • The conservation value of scrub as a landscape element in a mosaic including other habitats
    Scrub may form an important habitat component of habitat mosaics in certain systems.

Within the DBAP area examples of scrub that will be defined as a priority BAP habitat include: (this is not an exclusive list)

  • scrub that offers shelter to coastal migrant birds, black grouse chicks or Durham Argus butterflies
  • scrub that links blocks of woodland
  • scrub that adds to the biodiversity value of a brownfield site
  • scrub on calcareous soils with three or more of the following species: way-faring tree, wild privet, dogwood, spurge laurel, black bryony, hawthorn or spindle.
  • Scrub on peat soils with two or more of the following species: tea-leaved willow, eared willow, goat willow, grey willow, bay willow, purple willow, osier

Examples of non DBAP priority scrub habitat include:

  • scrub developing inappropriately on other DBAP priority habitats such as magnesian limestone grassland, lowland heath, lowland acid grassland, or reedbeds
  • scrub developing inappropriately at sites which support DBAP priority species that are detrimentally effected by scrub e.g. common lizard, grass snake

Condition Assessment

No condition assessment has been defined for this habitat.