Horseshoe Bend, Shirehampton
Horseshoe Bend, Shirehampton (grid reference ST542767) is an 11 acre (4.45 hectare) biological Site of Special Scientific Interest in Bristol, England, on the north bank of a lower, tidal stretch of the River Avon, 1.9 miles (3 kilometres) downstream from the Avon Gorge, and just east of the village of Shirehampton. It was notified as an SSSI in 1999.
The site's principal interest and the reason for its designation as an SSSI is the presence of a population of the True Service-tree (Sorbus domestica) growing on the cliffs. This tree is nationally rare in Britain, and this site hosts the largest known population in England. Other notable species of Sorbus here are the whitebeams Sorbus eminens and Sorbus anglica, both of which are also nationally rare in Britain. The nationally scarce Large-leaved Lime (Tilia platyphyllos) also occurs, and herbs include Field Garlic (Allium oleraceum) and Pale St. John's-wort (Hypericum montanum).
The saltmarsh vegetation, which lies at the base of the cliff, is predominantly made up of Sea Aster (Aster tripolium) and English Scurvygrass (Cochlearia anglica). There are however two nationally scarce vascular plant species here as well - Slender Hare's-ear (Bupleurum tenuissimum) and Long-stalked Orache (Atriplex longipes).
- English Nature citation sheet for the site (accessed 13 July 2006)