Half the nation’s Dumortier’s Liverwort is right here in Hastings

Hastings Country Park is the best site in the UK for the rare plant Dumortier’s Liverwort. 

That’s according to a survey on behalf of Natural England that says the plant, known in Latin as, Dumortiera hirsuta, is thriving because of improved management of Fairlight Place Farm at Hastings Country Park.

Half of all England’s Dumortier’s Liverwort

is found in Hastings Country Park

The first record of D.hirsuta in Hastings is from 1883, where it was often reported as plentiful. The present survey recorded a similarly large population along 425m of the main stream and the lowest 15m of the main side tributary, concentrated at the top of the valley around Dripping Well.

Colin Fitzgerald, lead councillor for parks and open spaces said: “Following serious slurry pollution to the Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) at Fairlight Glen in 2000, HBC brought the tenanted farm back into public management.

“We changed it from an intensive dairy operation to a low-intensity mixed farming regime focused on biodiversity enhancement. The pollution from the cattle slurry nearly wiped out the plant, but we stopped the pollution and reversed the decline in this rare and important species. 

“It is fantastic to see our conservation efforts paying off with rare plants thriving in the glens.’

The plant is thriving with half of all England’s Dumortier’s Liverwort now found in Hastings Country Park Nature Reserve.

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