Sookholme Moor is now used as grazing. The hedges around the edge tend to be tall and dense, providing a good habitat for wildlife. It was probably once an area of common grazing with thin, variable, poorly drained soils not suitable for ploughing. The eastern edge was the Parish boundary between Warsop and Sookholme.
The Plants of Sookholme Moor
These are some of the plant species to be found in this area-
Sedges (including Carnation, Glaucous, False Fox, Common, Long-stalked Yellow, Tawny and Dioecious)
Rushes (including Hard, Toad, Blunt-flowered, Soft and Jointed)
Sookholme Moor has different character to the the Hills and Holes. It is more open, and the soil is generally acidic or neutral allowing different species to grow. In places the soil is peaty, because it is often waterlogged. The water slows down the decomposition of the vegetation, which builds up in thickness. Acidic soils limit the amount of nutrients available to plants, providing another form of environmental stress that allows slower growing plants to compete with faster growing plants.
Many different grasses, sedges and rushes are found here. Where they grow is often determined by small changes in the acidity of the soil, the amount of water in the soil and the depth of the soil. From Warsop Vale to Sookholme Brook changes can be seen in the type of plants that grow in this area.
The north-eastern side has suffered improvement. That is it has been fertilised or reseeded or both at some time in the past to improve the yield of fodder for livestock. This has reduced the number of species growing there because traditional meadow and pasture plant species have evolved to grow in low-competition situations. Adding nutrients allows faster growing species to out-compete the slower growing ones.
The western and central section is richer in plants. The diversity is maintained by grazing and cutting hay at appropriate times. Wildflower meadows and pastures develop over a long period of time because the traditional cycle of farming remains unchanged. Changing the timing of hay cuts or rotating types of livestock within a field can alter the make-up of the wildflower community that occur.
often tough-leaved and seemingly hardy plants. But each species only grows
in a particular set of environmental conditions. Those found on Sookholme
Moor include Carnation, Glaucous, False Fox, Common, Long-stalked Yellow,
Tawny and Dioecious. Rushes include Hard, Toad,
Blunt-flowered, Soft and Jointed.
Closer to the Brook, plants have to be more tolerant of water and acidity, as well as the concentrated trampling and soil disturbance by livestock coming to drink. Tufts of Hard Rush shelter more tender plants such as Celery-leaved Buttercup, Saw-wort, Bog Pimpernel and Lesser Spearwort. The latter can be recognised by its flowers which are characteristic of the buttercup family of which it is a member.
The Hedgerows of Sookholme Moor
At the eastern edge of Sookholme Moor there is an area of Hawthorn and Blackthorn scrub that has been disturbed by the creation of a drainage ditch taking mine water from Warsop Main Colliery, probably along the line of a natural stream. The dense cover that this area provides is excellent for roosting and feeding birds. It provides good shelter for them from predators and humans.
On the south-western side of Sookholme Moor, running between Warsop Vale and Sookholme Brook, the lovely hedgerow includes a bank and a drain that would have taken water away from the medieval open fields that existed where Warsop Vale is now. The drain rarely holds water now, except following periods of prolonged heavy rainfall. The hedge is diverse, wide and provides good shelter for wildlife. Prior to the construction of Warsop Vale and the railway, this hedge joined with other hedges beyond the current railway line. In acidic soil areas, Gorse scrub has developed, invading the hedge line.