Tor Grass, Brachypodium pinnatum
1-3 Downs Link, extreme south. Chalk and railway ballast. 4 Slonk Hill
Cutting North, chalk bank.
The long grasses were thinly spaced (illustrated above) and abundant just west of the ridge on the very steep slopes of Mill Hill. I am not sure of the species. They could be Fescues, Festuca ? (This area is popular for the Small Heath Butterflies and used as a roosting area for the Chalkhill Blues in summer.)
Ecological habitat note: there is a difference between "improved pastures" where the natural herb flora is destroyed by herbicides and nutritious grasses are seeded/sown to improve the land for hay meadow or pasture. Mill Hill is "unimproved" and has not been sown or artificially managed in this way.
Tom Cope and Alan Gray
612 pages, 220 full page illustrations.
Botanical Society of the British Isles