extraction in this area followed the the lower seam
of shale clay used in the production of bricks and,
as a result the working resembles an amphitheater.
Patches of rush are present in the seasonal wet flush
areas on the floor of the excavation.
steep banks, being somewhat bare in places, provide
excellent habitat for burrowing invertebrates to bask
in the sunshine. Solitary bees also like this place
to form their nests.
the top of the banks we generally allow yellow ragwort
weed to grow as this is the only plant that the cinnabar
moth caterpillar feeds on. These distinct black and
yellow striped insects are avoided by predators due
to the poisons they accumulate in their bodies from
eating the plants. It is not unusual to see compete
plants stripped down to their skeleton by these veracious
moth itself has a very distinct colouring with red
markings to also warn would-be predators that it does
not taste very nice!
occur amongst the low sward and these are maintained
by grazing rabbits.
area is very rich in Common Bird's-foot-trefoil which
is the larva food-plant of the Common Blue butterfly.
For a more detailed listing of the species found in
this area of the site click