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- Young Friends
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- Management Plan
- Old Photographs
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© Marbled white
by Abi Stubbs
The pennant sandstone underlying Troopers Hill has resulted in acid soils, which are rare in Bristol. This has encouraged a wealth of plants to flourish, that are found nowhere else in the City. You can also see and hear many different birds and if you are very lucky, especially early in the morning, you might even see deer. However, the most important residents of the site are the many small invertebrates who live in the grassland and heathland; some of these are not only unique to Bristol but rare in a national context.
This page gives a brief description of some of the wildlife you might find, but the best way to see it is to visit the hill for yourself. When you do visit take time to look closely at even the smallest plants, some of the most beautiful often go unnoticed; as shown by Nick's amazing photo of the moss Bristly Haircap
'Polytrichum piliferum' (click on the photo to enlarge and see the full detail). Nick has also found a large Polytrichum moss, for which Troopers Hill is the only known site in Bristol, you can read his report here. Nick notes in his report that certain invasive species threaten the future survival of the moss, you can help us remove these by joining us at our regular Work Parties.
More detail about how the site is being managed to protect this unique habitat can be found Management Plan for the site. Results of more recent monitoring of moths and other invertebrates can be seen here together with photographs of some of the moths found taken on other sites. A full list of wildlife surveys is on our Hill Information page.
More information about the rocks of Troopers Hill and research carried out in 2012 into the acidity of the soil can be seen on our Geology Page.
Heathland & Grassland
Ling and bell heather, more commonly found in places like Exmoor and Dartmoor, thrive on the acid soils on Troopers Hill. Look out for their purple flowers in late summer.
The grassland on Troopers Hill is unique to Bristol. Only plants that tolerate the acid soils survive. Look out for heath bedstraw and sheeps sorrel. There are also many different kinds of grasses and flowering plants such as mouse-ear hawkweed. The grassland is also home to three different types of grasshopper including the mottled grasshopper which is rare in the city.
Woodland and Scrub
The lower slopes and richer soils on Troopers Hill are covered in scrubby areas and woodland. Trees and shrubs present include hawthorn, silver birch, oak, apple, broom and gorse.
The broom (for which Troopers Hill is the best site in the city) and gorse are easily recognised by their attractive yellow flowers. The scrub is home to many small birds and mamals and notably the dark-bush cricket. There is also a lot of bramble which, while providing valuable wildlife habitat (and blackberries for local residents), needs control to stop it overwelming other species such as the broom.