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Brunel 200 Events & Activities Overview > Clifton Suspension Bridge

Heading - Clifton Suspension Bridge

Planting of Autumn Squill at Clifton Suspension Bridge

On 7 April 2006 a wild plant display showcasing the rare plants of the Avon Gorge was opened on the Clifton side of the Clifton Suspension Bridge by local broadcaster and celebrity Adam Hart Davis.

The garden was created by Bristol Zoo Gardens, the Clifton Suspension Bridge Trust and Avon Gorge & Downs Wildlife Project. The garden aims to highlight nine wild plants with an important historical and conservation association to the city of Bristol and Brunel, including: Bristol onion, Bristol rock cress, and the autumn squill. In 1831, the Bridge was due to be built on a site where the autumn squill grew. Mrs Glennie (the wife of Brunel’s assistant) warned the great engineer that the construction would destroy these rare plants, and as a result Brunel instructed that the bulbs should be dug up and replanted further along the Gorge.

It is thought to be one of the first recorded examples of plant conservation.

HRH Duke of Gloucester planted a sapling on the Clifton side of the Bridge on 5 July 2006 to celebrate the bicentenary.