Acid grassland: Grinlow
Acid grasslands such as that at Grinlow are found all over the Peak District but are much more widespread in the Dark Peak and often found in conjunction with bracken beds. On the shale slopes flanking the gritstone plateau acid grasslands are dominated by purple moor grass, whilst where sheep grazing is present, mat-grass dominates. Both of these types tend to be species-poor, although bilberry and heather can be present. Purple moor grass also provides seed for the twite, a declining bird species.
Within enclosed fields on the moorland fringe wavy hair grass dominates, alongside plants such as heath bedstraw and gorse.
Where soil richness increases, common bent and sheep's fescue grasses dominate. This last type of acid grassland is the most botanically varied and supports a range of flower species, including harebell, pignut, tormentil, bitter vetchling and mountain pansy.
Acid grasslands also support a number of important bird species, including skylark, whinchat, ring ouzel, wheatear and short-eared owl. Wetter areas also support curlew, redshank and snipe.
At Grinlow the acid grassland has developed on quarry spoil and thus provides another example of the impacts that quarrying can have on habitats, species and landscape.