The grasslands have never been treated with herbicides or fertilizers, so they have many wild flowers
and older types of grass, such as timothy
and foxtail. Grassland flowers include common knapweed, bird's-foot trefoil, ox-eye daisy, several different kinds of vetch, clover and ladies bedstraw, all typical of old hay meadows.
The soil in the lower field was once river mud and is grey. The soils in the rest of the reserve are reddish, the colour of the Old Red sandstone, some 370 million years old, which forms the bedrock.