Science and research

UK Upland Waters Monitoring Network

Follow us on Twitter

UK UWMN Sites

picture of Old Lodge (c) Ewan Shilland

Old Lodge

Catchment Characteristics

The Old Lodge catchment lies in south east England within Ashdown Forest and is the most easterly site of the Monitoring Network. The catchment area is 301 ha with an altitude range between 94 m at the stream confluence with Mill Brook and 223 m at Camp Hill. The underlying geology is comprised of the Ashdown Formation and catchment soils are gley podsols.

Approximately 15% of the catchment is deciduous woodland, principally around the sampling station. Conifers occupy less than 5% of the catchment with the remainder classified as heathland vegetation dominated by Calluna and Erica, with abundant stands of Pteridium. The Conservators of Ashdown Forest and the Sussex Wildlife Trust, who own the bulk of the catchment, practice winter tree clearance for heathland retention and to this end a low level cattle and sheep grazing regime was instigated in 1998. Much of the catchment is common land. There has been little land-use disturbance for at least the past 200 years, although severe wind-throw affected many trees after the storms of October 1987.

Annual rainfall is c. 900 mm.

The catchment lies within the High Weald Area of Outstanding National Beauty. With the exception of the north western area around Old Lodge, most of the catchment is covered by a large number of designations; it is a Birds Directive Special Protection Area and an RSPB Important Bird Area; it is under a Higher Level Countryside Stewardship agreement; it is in the Ashdown Forest SSSI and Special Area of Conservation and it is also lowland heathland BAP priority habitat.

Site Characteristics

The stream section utilised for biological monitoring is c.3 m wide and heavily shaded in summer by the deciduous tree canopy (notably Fagus) and several trees have fallen across the watercourse. The stream bed comprises mainly boulders, cobbles and gravel and the sampling reach contains very shallow water during dry-weather flow with numerous riffle sections.

Data Distribution and Associated Networks

UK UWMN data from Old Lodge are contributed to the UK Environmental Change Network, the European Long-Term Ecosystem Research Network (LTER Europe) and the International Long Term Ecological Research (ILTER) programme.

Page last modified: 3rd February, 2016