Flora & Fauna in Roughlee Village

The second part of our Roughlee Habitats Report involved summarising the numbers of different species of animals, plants and fungi that have been recorded in the village over the years, providing checklists and highlighting species that are notable or noteworthy.

There are two main centres or offices that hold biological records for Lancashire; Lancashire Environment Record Network (LERN – the biological records centre for Lancashire), which is based at the County Council offices in Preston, and the online National Biodiversity Network (NBN) Atlas, based in Nottingham. Additional records may be held by a number of organisations whose interests and activities cover the Parish, Pendle, East Lancashire, Lancashire and/or Northwest England, including the East Lancashire Bat Group, East Lancashire Ornithologist’s Club, Lancashire branch of Butterfly Conservation, Lancashire & Cheshire Fauna Society, North West Fungi Group etc.

As part of the contract with Roughlee Parish Council, Lancashire Wildlife Trust bought a copy of the data held by LERN that had been recorded within the parish boundary. For the NBN Atlas, a circle was drawn around the parish to produce a dataset, which included many of the LERN data but also additional records, some of which may fall outside the parish boundary but lie within the circle and have been included in the summary below.

The species recorded in/adjacent to the parish of Roughlee are detailed below, but can be summarised as follows:

Group of fauna and flora No. of species % of species No. Non-native % Non-native No. INNS* % INNS No. Lancs Key Species (LKS) % LKS
Amphibians 1 0.08 0 0 0 0 1 100
Birds 103 7.83 3 2.9 2 66.7 26 25.2
Fish 9 0.68 1 11.1 1 100 3 33.3
Fungi1 and lichens 2 0.15 0 0 0 0 0 0
Invertebrates 318 24.18 2 0.6 1 50 48 15.1
Mammals 13 0.99 4 30.8 2 50 4 30.8
Non-vascular plants 132 10.04 0 0 0 0 5 3.8
Reptiles 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
Vascular plants 737 56.05 190 25.8 55 29.95 78 10.6
TOTAL 1,315 100 200 15.2 61 30.5 165 12.6

* INNS = Invasive Non-native Species, including species on Schedule 9 of the Wildlife & Countryside Act (WCA) 1981 (as amended), the European INNS: Alien Species of Union Concern, National INNS list and/or the Lancashire INNS list.

1 Additional records of fungi from the parish may be held by the North West Fungus Group. If such records are forthcoming, they will be added to the appendix and reissued to the Parish Council.

The list above begs several questions:

  1. Are there no Common Lizards or Slow-worms in Roughlee?
  2. Are there no Common Toads or newts in the parish? If there are where are they found?
  3. How many fungi and lichens have yet to be discovered in the parish?

Lancashire Key Species (LKS) refers to species which have a recognised status, either internationally, nationally or locally within Lancashire. Specifically, it includes species identified in one or more of the sources listed below. The list is maintained by the Lancashire Environment Record Network (LERN) Technical Advisory Group, which includes Lancashire Wildlife Trust.

Status Qualifying Criteria
International Importance
National Importance
  • Wildlife & Countryside Act (WCA) 1981 (as amended)  Schedules 1, 5 & 8
  • Natural Environment and Rural Communities (NERC) Act 2006 – Habitats and Species of Principal Importance in England
  • Protection of Badgers Act 1992
  • National Red Lists, including Birds of Conservation Concern
  • Nationally Rare and Nationally Scarce
Lancashire Importance
  • Lancashire Rare Species and Lancashire Scarce Species
  • Local Decline
  • Recent Local Extinction
  • Species Occurring in Nationally Important Numbers
  • Guidelines for the Selection of Biological Heritage Sites

Vascular Plants

The vascular plants include Angiosperms (flowering plants), Gymnosperms (conifers) and Pteridophytes (ferns and fern-allies), and the list of 737 species can be broken down as follows:

  • Wildflowers: 465
  • Grasses, sedges, rushes, ferns and their allies: 136
  • Trees and shrubs: 136

Looking at these in turn, the 465 species of wildflowers includes 439 species of terrestrial wildflowers and 26 miscellaneous aquatic plants. Of the 465 species of wildflowers and aquatic plants, 345 are native (74.2%), 120 are Introduced (25.8%), and 60 are Lancashire Key Species (12.9%).

The 136 species of grasses etc. in Roughlee includes 67 grasses, 29 sedges and sedge-allies, 26 ferns and fern-allies, and 14 rushes and wood-rushes. Of the 136 species, 122 are native (89.7%), 14 are Introduced (10.3%), and 10 are Lancashire Key Species (7.4%).

The 136 species of trees and shrubs includes 32 species of Bramble, or Blackberries! It may surprise some people that there is more than one Bramble or Blackberry, but there are estimated to be over 520 different Brambles in the British Isles! Of the 136 species trees and shrubs in Roughlee, 78 are native (57.4%), 56 are Introduced (41.2%), and eight are Lancashire Key Species (5.9%).

Of the 190 non-native species of vascular plants, 55 are classed as Invasive Non-native Species (INNS, i.e. 29.95%), which comprises 26 wildflowers, 22 trees and shrubs, three grasses, three aquatic plants and one rush.

Of the total number of species recorded in the parish, 165 are Lancashire Key Species (12.6% not included INNS, which are counted separately in this report and covered above), of which the majority are wildflowers (78), invertebrates (48) and birds (26). These three groups account for over 92% of the 165 Lancashire Key Species.

Many of the vascular plants are edible and can be foraged e.g. eating leaves in salads; added to soups and stews; as a stock thickener; steamed as a side vegetable; pickled; made into jams and jellies, fruit pies and puddings; flowers and fruits made into cordials, syrups and wines; flavourings for gin and vodka; to make herbal teas and coffees; and substitutes for asparagus, broccoli, capers, parsnips and spinach. See the Lancashire Wildlife Trust’s foraging calendar.

Many of the plants also have medicinal properties but expansion of this topic is beyond the scope of this report.

See also:

  • Important sites for wildlife in Roughlee Booth