A Phase 1 habitat survey of a proposed 12 turbine wind farm site in Angus was undertaken in 2012. Due to intensive management including grazing and muirburn over a long period of time the upper slopes were dominated by dry heath vegetation with Heather Calluna vulgaris and blaeberry Vaccinium myrtillus dominant in various stages of recovery from burning and in mosaic with acid grassland. On flat ground on saddles between the higher slopes there were deposits of deep peat with some residual M2 Sphagnum cuspidatum/fallax bog pool communities. In the valleys marshy grassland predominated generally dominated by soft rush Juncus effusus and sharp flowered rush Juncus acutiflorus with some species rich areas of herbaceous and bryophyte species. Bracken Pteridium aquilinum was also abundant in some areas.
Dry heath in various stages of recovery from burning is the predominant habitat. These areas are dominated by heather Calluna vulgaris with bright green blaeberry Vaccinium myrtillus dominating on areas which have been more recently burnt associated with cowberry Vaccinium vitis-idaea, unpalatable crowberry Empetrum nigrum and wavy hair-grass Deschampsia flexuosa.
Peatland habitat is dominated by heather Calluna vulgaris with tussocks of hare’s-tail cotton-grass Eriophorum vaginatum and occasional common cotton-grass E. angustifolium, low hummocks of Sphagnum capillifolium, dry hummocks of Sphagnum compactum, shoots of blaeberry Vaccinium myrtillus, cowberry Vaccinium vitis-idaea, crowberry Empetrum nigrum, occasional cross-leaved heath Erica tetralix, scattered cloudberry Rubus chamaemorus and mosses including Pleurozium schreberi, Hypnum jutlandicum, Aulacomnium palustre and Cladonia lichen.
Residual bog pools with Sphagnum cuspidatum and S. fallax
Violet oil beetle, a nationally declining species noted on the wind farm site during Phase 1 habitat survey