It's hard to imagine a time when Barnes Common was known as 'The Waste', when today, plant life abounds across Vine Road Park, Barnes Common and Leg o' Mutton local nature reserves.

Plant Life

On the Common, our nationally scarce lowland acid grassland (LAG) habitat is host to a delicate and delightful array of fine grasses such as sheep’s fescue (Festuca ovina), red fescue (F. rubra), common bent (Agrostis capillaris) and wavy hair-grass (Deschampsia flexuosa), along with other indicator species such as sheep sorrel (Rumex acetosella), heath bedstraw (Galium saxatile) and cat’s ear (Hypochaeris radicata), whilst the scrubby and endearing little Burnet rose has been known on the Common for over 300 years.

Higher nutrient grassland areas host coarser, often more colourful species. Keep your eyes open for lady’s bedstraw (Galium verum), ox-eye daisies (Leucanthemum vulgare), tansy (Tanacetum vulgare), as well as hawkweeds, vetches and willowherbs. In our reedbed and wetter areas it isn’t too difficult to spot lady’s smock (Cardamine pratensis), purple loosestrife (Lythrum salicaria), meadowsweet (Filipendula ulmaria), marsh marigold (Caltha palustris) and coltsfoot (Tussilago farfara).

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