An important area
The whole coastal section from Newfoundland cove, to the west of Brownstone Battery, to Pudcombe cove near Coleton Fishacre, is designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) for its unimproved grassland habitat. To care for this area an ongoing program of scrub clearing is in place to create a mosaic of habitat equating to 30% scrub, 70% grassland.
This mosaic leads to a greater diversity of species, providing scrub cover and shelter for birds and invertebrates as well as the open grassland habitat with its great source of food plants. Birds such as the cirl bunting, yellowhammer and stonechat all thrive in this habitat. The abundant violets in Kelly’s cove are the food plant for the larva of the dark green fritillary. Other insects that are benefiting from this mosaic of habitats include great green bush cricket, grey bush cricket, and marbled white, ringlet and silver washed fritillary butterflies. Adders, common lizards and slow-worms are all frequently seen basking on the barer areas along the footpath edges and on exposed rock.