Wasteland 4 – Fourth in a series of pictures of vegetation apparently growing naturally on wasteland and contributing to the biodiversity of the habitat from the side of Pipers Walk on the Waterfront in Swansea, South Wales, 19 June 2021.

Lake et al (2015) note that brownfield or wasteland sites could possibly have a highly unusual chemical composition from fuel ash and waste products due to an industrial use of the location in the past. This means that the pH of the thin soils may vary greatly across the site. That in turn would affect its suitability for a wide range of vegetational types. It is difficult to know what formerly stood in this particular dockland location before demolition but certainly a legacy of coal ash or oil could be expected, or anything else that would have been imported or exported. The coarse skeletal soil is considered ‘crucial in maintaining the habitat in an early-successional stage, an element that is rare in the lowlands’.


Britain’s Habitats – A Field guide to the Wildlife Habitats of Great Britain and Ireland by Sophie Lake, Durwyn Liley, Robert Still and Andy Swash, published by Princeton University Press, New Jersey and Woodstock, 2015 reprinted 2020, part of a Wild Guide series on Rewilding Britain.

4 Replies to “Wasteland 4”

  1. Very beautiful indeed. It evokes childhood memories. When I grew up, there was an abandoned building on the opposit side of the street, with this kind of plants in the “garden”.
    I read that sorrel grows on soils with pH below 6, so this should be an acidic soil. Besides sorrel, I think I can see dandelion in the right lower corner. I don’t know the other flowers and I am not an expert on grasses either.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you, Nannus. Identifying the wide range of plants will need a bit of time and expertise, and not always possible just from the photographs, but I think the pictures nevertheless demonstrate their variety and how delightful a discovery it was. It has also been thought provoking for me and made me want to know more.

    Liked by 1 person

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