Cornish Biodiversity Network  -  Supporting Wildlife Recording

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Cornish Red Data (2009)

The descriptive text, below the map, is from the Cornish Red Data Book (2009). The map on this web page depicts the organisms distribution and shows the records made pre-2000 and those made since.

Erica vagans - Cornish Heath

Range & Status

Native; an Oceanic Southern-temperate shrub that occurs in France, northern Spain,

Ireland and in Cornwall.

Regional Distribution

As a native it is restricted to The Lizard and two outlying stations near Connor Downs (SW53).

Habitat & Ecology

On The Lizard Erica vagans is confined to areas on serpentine and gabbro. It is found in two distinct heathland communities; with Black Bog-rush Schoenus nigricans in Tall Heath ; and Gorse Ulex europaeus in Mixed Heath (Coombe & Frost, 1956; Rodwell, 1991). However, it also grows, often luxuriantly, on Cornish Hedges in the area.


The main threat is habitat destruction and fragmentation. The railway site, near Connor Downs, has recently been greatly diminished due to herbicide spray by the railway company and that sizeable colony may have been destroyed.


Much of the heathland on The Lizard is SSSI and managed by the National Trust, Natural England or Cornwall Wildlife Trust.

Click here to see Aphotoflora images by David Fenwick


I.J. Bennallick, S. Board, C.N. French, P.A. Gainey, C. Neil, R. Parslow, A. Spalding and P.E. Tompsett. eds. 2009. Red Data Book for Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly. 2nd Edition.Croceago Press.

The Cornish Red Data Book Project was led by the Cornwall and Isles of Scilly Federation for Biological Recorders (CISFBR). The full text and species accounts (minus the maps) are available on the CISFBR website.

Cornish Biodiversity Network. 2017.