Ranmore Common SSSI

The National Trust property of Ranmore Common extends over 250 hectares and is a mosaic of fragments of ancient woodland, overgrown heath, old beech woodland and large areas of ash and scrub that have grown up since the 1987 storm. acta's job was to develop an overall strategy for the common based on the natural trends in plant succession and the limited management resources. Analysis of vegetation, soils, historic maps and air photographs identified the areas where heathland could realistically be reinstated on the outer parts of the common.

Prescriptions were developed for the central areas, based on retaining the ancient pattern of coppices and rough grassland on the more base-rich valley bottoms and beech woodland on the acid clays of the higher ground.

The ancient lanes and holloways that criss-cross the site are of particular interest for their historical and wildlife interest. Detailed actions for the major routes were prepared.

The west edge of the common offered one of the best opportunities for return to heathland

Early post-war air photographs were used to understand the pattern of succession

Today only fragments of heathland survive amid birch woodland and bracken