Heathland is a nationally scarce and globally restricted habitat. Every patch of heathland is precious, no matter how small. The heathland present on the cliff-tops at Warren Glen and Firehills is maritime heath, which is even scarcer and of a different character to the larger expanses of heathland inland such as Ashdown Forest and the West Sussex Heaths around Midhurst.
Heathland is more of a landscape type rather than a habitat. Contained within it are a mosaic of different habitats such as dwarf scrub communities consisting of heather, bell heather and dwarf gorse, acid grassland, patches of bracken and gorse and wetland components such as ponds and streams.
Another very important heathland habitat is bare ground where sandy soil and bedrock is exposed.
This bare ground provides nesting habitat for many species of solitary bees and wasps such as the beewolf wasp (Philanthus triangulum), the spiny digger wasp (Oxybelus uniglumis) and ornate tailed digger wasp (Cerceris rybyensis).
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