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Unique plants in Bristol

8 November 2012

Planet Earth podcast: how conservationists are using science to help protect rare plants found only in Bristol's Avon Gorge.

Planet Earth podcast: how conservationists are using science to help protect rare plants found only in Bristol's Avon Gorge.

Bristol's Avon Gorge in southwest England is one of the richest botanical sites in Britain. The site is home to 27 nationally rare and scarce plants, some of which are found nowhere else in the world. They include the Bristol, Wilmott's, Avon Gorge, Houston's and Leigh Woods whitebeams. In fact, the gorge has a greater diversity of whitebeams than any other location in the country. It's also the only place in the UK where you can find Bristol rock-cress and Bristol onion growing wild. But, because of their rarity, some of the area's plants are currently on the IUCN Red List of endangered species.

Richard Hollingham meets Simon Hiscock, Professor of Botany at the University of Bristol, and Mandy Leivers, Avon Gorge & Downs biodiversity education officer to find out about the role science is playing in helping to protect these rare plants.