Tregonning Hill

Newquay, United Kingdom

Tregonning Hill

Tregonning Hill is the westerly of two granite hills overlooking Mount's Bay in west Cornwall, United Kingdom, the other being Godolphin Hill. They are approximately 6 kilometres (3.7 mi) west of the town of Helston. The Plymouth chemist William Cookworthy mixed china stone with kaolin, mined from the hill to make Plymouth porcelain in 1768; which was the first time hard-paste porcelain was made in Britain. Part of the hill is designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) and at the date of notification (1994) was the only known site of western rustwort (Marsupella profunda) in Great Britain.

The main vegetation types on the hill are western lowland heath and scrub. The heath consists of a mixture of heather (Calluna vulgaris), bell heather (Erica cinerea) and western gorse (Ulex gallii] with cross–leaved heath (Erica tetralix) replacing E. cinerea in wet areas. Bilberry (Vaccinium myrtillus) and tormentil (Potentilla erecta) also occur. On the deeper soils European gorse (Ulex europaeus), bracken (Pteridium aquilinum) and bramble (Rubus fruticosus) are the dominant scrub species. The bare slopes of the old china clay works are where western rustwort (Marsupella profunda) occurs. By 2004 the liverwort was known from fourteen sites within three SSSIs, making Cornwall the main stronghold globally. The nationally scarce moss (Brachydontium trichodes) known from only two sites in Cornwall also occurs on Tregonning Hill. As of 7 September 2010 the condition of the SSSI was considered to be ″unfavourable declining".

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