Quantock Hills Blog

Joyriders create grief for biodiversity

- Ranger Rebekah raises awareness of the damage off-roading

Rebekah West

Posted by Rebekah West on 10 February 2015

Joyriders create grief for biodiversity Sadly there has been a spate of joyriding and off road parking, especially around Wilmot’s Pool and Crowcombe Park Gate recently.

The road between Crowcombe and Nether Stowey has to be one of the most beautiful spots in the Quantocks, and the recent frosty sunshine and big blue skies that we’ve been having, mean that the views have been stunning.  But sadly there has been evidence of joyriding, and also lots of people have been parking on the verges rather than in the car parks.  This is raising real concerns for protecting the unique habitats there. Boggy areas known as acid flushes have developed at the sources of the springs there. The resultant habitat supports a diverse range of locally scarce plants including the insectivorous Round-leaved Sundew, Bog Pimpernel, Common Cottongrass, Cross-leaved Heath, Marsh Pennywort, Bog Asphodel, Star sedge, and the soft absorbent Sphagnum mosses, to name but a few.
This diversity is highly sensitive and especially vulnerable to tyre damage and pollution - the consequences of which can be severe erosion and permanent loss of species.

We really want to draw attention to the fact that parking on the verges is really damaging to Quantock wildlife especially at this time of year, and it could also very easily lead to vehicles becoming stuck in the mud. We have had to help pull vehicles back onto the road a number of times. There are plenty of car parking areas with hard surfaces, so please do stick to those. Of course we know that most of you do, but if you could help spread the word we would be really grateful.


Please could we remind everyone to park in the car parks, not on the grass verge and if you see any suspicious activity we would really appreciate any information you can pass on to us.  You can do this by calling the office on 01823 451884, or emailing our rangers Rebekah at: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  or Owen at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Any help to protect this vulnerable and important habitat would be gratefully received.

Many thanks

Bex


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