Grasslands on Blackheath

Acid grassland can be found scattered in many places on the Heath.

The best areas on the Lewisham side are to the east of Granville Park, between South Row and Morden Road, and, somewhat surprisingly, on the cricket field to the east of Goffers Road.

The latter is the only one of the sites listed above which is not currently under nature conservation management, due to the requirements of the cricketers.

Three plants typical of dry, sandy soils, all of which are scarce in London, grow in a few scattered localities on Blackheath are fiddle dock, spotted medick and common stork's-bill.   

The neutral grassland which occupies areas of Blackheath which have been landfilled is generally of little botanical interest. Perennial rye-grass dominates in most areas.  In the close-mown areas, buck's-horn plantain, a maritime plant widespread in London,  is often the only non-grass species which occurs in significant quantity. Other wild flowers which can be found include sticky mouse-ear, lesser trefoil, daisies and white clover.

Paragon Field

Probably the most interesting area of neutral grassland on the Heath is on Paragon Field, between Prince of Wales Road and St German's Place. Here meadow foxtail and creeping bent replace rye-grass as the dominant grasses, allowing a greater range of wild flowers to flourish. The northern half of Paragon Field, where the neutral grassland forms a mosaic with acidic grassland, is particularly attractive in summer, when the tall, purple-tinged flower spikes of meadow foxtail contrast with the low-growing, brick-red patches of sheep's sorrel.


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