Plantwatch: rare species flourish in Swanscombe wasteland

Area in Kent has more threatened species than any other brownfield site in UK – but its future is at risk

Brownfield sites are derelict industrial wastelands and hardly glamorous – but some have become outstanding natural havens.

Swanscombe peninsula in the Thames estuary was used for quarrying chalk and aggregate, cement works, gas works and landfill. When the industry moved out, the poor soil left behind was colonised by rare plants that could not survive on fertile land elsewhere.

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