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Helena Crouch




10th June 2024
6:45 pm -


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This conifer plantation, on the site of former lead-mining activity, has varied habitats, with broad rides, areas of heathland, a pond and wet woodland with Sphagnum-filled pools is an ideal place to explore on a summer’s evening. There is a great diversity of sedges, with 15 species recorded recently, and a good array of rushes and ferns. Impressive stands of orchids can be seen along the rides, along with many other species. Common Cottongrass Eriophorum angustifolium has been seen recently, but Hare’s-tail Cottongrass E. vaginatum was last recorded here in 2010 – a good target for observant visiting botanists. There are interesting relics of the site’s industrial past, in particular the impressive Smitham Chimney, and fine views across the Chew Valley. The topography is reasonably flat, with good paths, although the more adventurous members will doubtless venture off these into uneven or wet terrain, so walking boots are advisable.

Park and meet in the Forestry England car park off Smitham Hill at ST557541 (postcode BS40 6DA).

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