4 Heath land

Task Site 4 location

Task Site 4 is just a short distance along the level path from Task Site 2. Task Site 3 is the quarry which you may have chosen not to visit. To reach site 4 from the quarry retrace your steps up through the woods, passing site 2 on the way.

 

View from ridge

The top of the hill here is an open area of heathland giving you views into the distance.

 

Typical vegetation

The top of the hill only has a thin layer of poor, infertile, acidic soil, supporting woody plants that grow low to the ground and only small trees.

The types of plant growing in an area is often an indicator to the type of rock below.\n\nSince the soil is at least partially made up of erosion products of the rock below, then the mineral composition of that soil will match that of the rock it eroded from. Sandstones tend to produce soils which are slightly acidic which is favoured by lime hating (ericaceous) plants. In contrast limestones tend to produce sligthly alkaline soils.

 

Soil formation

Soil is made as the rock beneath weathers and breaks down and is enriched by organic material from dead and decaying plants. We have already seen that the Lickey Quartzite here is very hard and would erode only very slowly, producing very little soil, so few plants, and so less organic material that would help make more soil – a vicious circle!

 

Why Bilberry Hill?

This area is named Bilberry Hill because bilberry plants grow extensively here.\n\nLocal people have been harvesting the bilberries for hundreds of years to make jam and pies.

 

 

Task Site 4 Questions

What combination of plants can you see here?

a) Oak trees, grasses and daffodils
b) Ferns, pine trees and hawthorn bushes
c) Silver birch trees, ferns and bilberries
d) Ferns, hawthorn bushes, and grass