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M32 Grassy Banks Subway System


A system of 7 grass banks located just outside Eastville Park, beneath the M32. It is one of the most floral-rich sites I know of, containing well over 100 species - extremely impressive for such as small area; many of which are quite surprising. Examples include: Sainfoin, Greater Bird's-foot Trefoil, Slender Parsley-piert, Pale Flax, Fern-grass, Glaucous Sedge, Hairy Sedge, Field Wood-rush, Field Penny-cress are just a few examples. Many other introduced species have become naturalised from an ornamental meadow including: Corn Cockle, Californian Poppy, Sweet Alison. This site is uniquely species-rich due to a number of factors. Each bank receives a different level of sun and shade. Some parts are more exposed and bake, whilst others are sheltered and damp; and being banks, the top sections get scuffed by the mowers, creating bare-ground favoured by the less competitive species such as Mouse-ear Hawkweed and Slender Parsley-piert, whilst the damper parts towards the bases are preferred by Hairy Sedge, Cuckoo Flower and Thyme-leaved Speedwell. The soil is also quite poor because it is the spoil from when the subways were dug out, allowing a wider range of species to co-exist and further more being by a motorway seeds arrive from dispersal by cars slip streams and air currents.


Here is a map showing this place: