Wildlife Conservation Group in the

Forest of Dean








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16 February 2010

The dolomite cliffs were cleared of the small bushes and the soft grassland is where the Autumn Ladies-tresses are found.

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Plump Hill Dolomite Quarry Nature Reserve

Grid Ref SO651172


This was the first time we had visited this site which is situated alongside the main road which travels over Plump Hill and has magnificent views across the Severn Valley. The site is particularly important for Autumn Ladies'-tresses. We needed to remove low growing hawthorn, birch, cedar and the inevitable bramble! We were lucky to have had such a fine spring day as a snowstorm arrived two days later stopping all the traffic over the hill.

Autumn Ladies-tresses

Spiranthes spiralis, commonly known as the Autumn Ladies'-tresses, is the latest-blooming native species of orchid, blooming in August and September. It is characterised by a spiral inflorescence produced after the leaves have died down. The inflorescence can be very small (as little as 50mm high) especially in short grazed grassland. It occurs most frequently in close cropped grassland overlying chalk or limestone.



Staring work

Quarry walls

A difficult hawthorn

This hawthorn was difficult to take down!

Ammonites are sometimes visible on the rock face although lichen and dirt cover them a lot.


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