This evergreen calcifuge fern grows on damp peaty or loamy soils in deciduous and coniferous woodland. In suitably wet climates it extends onto open moorland, streamsides and hedgerows.
Mapped as `all records` in the 1962 Atlas, this species has declined in England and C. Ireland; analysis of the database reveals that most losses have occurred since 1950. Declines are due to woodland clearance and the conversion of lowland heathland to improved pasture.(link)