Wildlife of the Cut

“...a very remarkable wildlife corridor, and a vivid reminder of Bristol’s past.”

Richard Bland, Bristol Naturalists Society.

The Cut is a valuable wildlife corridor close to the centre of the city. We have produced an introductory leaflet to wildlife on the Cut, copies of which are available at the Southville Centre and the CREATE Centre.

Over 30 species of birds have been seen along the Cut, including the grey heron and the cormorant. Both of these birds eat fish from the Cut, their presence being an indicator of the health of the waterway.

Over 20 species of butterfly and day moth have been spotted at Butterfly Junction, an abandoned industrial site next to the railway line terminus at Ashton Bridge. Marbled white, ringlet and skippers breed here on grasses - as does the common blue butterfly, probably on bird’s-foot trefoil. Others such as gatekeepers, small tortoiseshell, red admiral and peacock regularly pass through the site to feed or rest.

Over 120 species of flowering plants are present between Gaol Ferry Bridge and Ashton Bridge. Look out especially for the rare ivy broomrape growing on the grassy banks of the Cut. Recognised by a yellowish-purple stem and creamy flowers in summer, it is unusual in that it is a parasite of ivy roots.

Over 30 species of trees can be seen along the Cut, including one or two fig trees which are believed to have grown from fruits discarded by passing sailors in times gone by.

Lists of species that have been observed on the Cut in recent years may be downloaded from this page. So too can an interesting and informative article written by Richard Bland of the Bristol Naturalists’ Society in August 2007.

Click to download the following:

Flying Bird