Crook Peak and Sand Point/Sand Bay, Mendip Hills

North Somerset 11th – 12th June 2022
general
led by
Helena Crouch, Liz McDonnell

A two-day meeting exploring species-rich limestone grassland and rock outcrops on steep south-facing slopes of the West Mendips. Ascending the steep side of Crook Peak we will see Trinia glauca (Honewort), Clinopodium acinos (Basil Thyme), Euphrasia tetraquetra (Western Eyebright), Koeleria vallesiana (Somerset Hair-grass), Filago germanica (Common Cudweed) and many other species of dry open limestone grassland. Carex humilis (Dwarf Sedge) and Marrubium vulgare (White Horehound) grow near the peak, where there are also interesting areas of limestone heathland.  On a fine day, the panoramic views across Somerset are stunning. Sand Point is a Carboniferous limestone promontory, also home to Honewort, Somerset Hair-grass and other treasures of open rocky limestone grassland, but with additional maritime interest. We should see Limonium procerum (Rock Sea-lavender), Hypericum montanum (Pale St John’s-wort), Trifolium suffocatum (Suffocated Clover), Orobanche hederae (Ivy Broomrape) and Dianthus gratianopolitanus (Cheddar Pink), introduced here in the 1950s and thriving. Sand Bay has a good range of species typical of saltmarsh, strandline and sand-dune, including Limonium vulgare (Common Sea-lavender), Carex extensa (Long-bracted Sedge) and Althaea officinalis (Marsh-mallow).

Beginners will be very welcome. Please bring packed lunch on both days. Both sites involve steep ascents on uneven rocky paths. Please wear appropriate footwear for rough ground and bring waterproofs and sun cream.

Contact helenacrouch@sky.com for further information and to book, with email address/ mobile details.

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