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Nature Trail 24

Drystone wall

Drystone walls are one of the Mendip Hills National Landscape special qualities. These are the features that help you know that you are on Mendip.

There are over 400km of drystone walls on Mendip, some are still in good condition, others, like this one, have fallen into disrepair, but they are still important for nature as habitat, homes and highways.

As hedges don’t grow very well on the Mendip plateau, which is quite a hard habitat for trees to grow in, the drystone walls replace them to form important connective features. Many animals use the walls, especially reptiles, like the adder, slowworm or the common lizard, to move through the landscape, avoiding the attention of predators and searching for prey themselves.

The walls are also great for many specialist plants which are usually found on cliffs or areas with very little soil, love the drystone walls, including stonewort, mosses and ferns, and Lichens love them too.

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