Flowering Plants

The main influences on the flora of the site are the underlying magnesian limestone and calcareous gravels and sands which can produce a great diversity of plants making it an interesting venue for botanists.  Once sand and gravel extraction ceased, the natural vegetation was considerably affected during work to landscape the site and, for a time afterwards plants, which were unusual for the area, grew but most were short-lived.  Plants of the pea family are particularly successful, fixing nitrogen to boost their growth and this is evidenced in summer with the valuable profusion of Common Bird’s-foot Trefoil in some areas.  Damage to the vegetation by rabbits and geese remains a constant problem and, in order to eliminate this, some areas have been fenced off and the native flora has flourished to the benefit of many species of insects.

A botanical survey was carried out on one day in July 2008 when 160 species were recorded; these included Common Centaury, Yellow-wort, Yellow Rattle, Blue Fleabane, Eyebright sp., Red Bartsia, Devil’s-bit Scabious, Common Spotted Orchid, Bee Orchid, a continuously moving colony, and a few plants of Pyramidal Orchid.  There are always new species to be found!

A more recent survey in 2015 by Kevin Walker recorded 282 species.




Common Spotted Orchid



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