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  • Writer's pictureWildlife Friendly Otley


You can see this tough member of the pea family along the old railway track to the east of town, but it’s generally quite common. It’s called Bird’s-Foot because of the shape of the seed pods; the Trefoil part refers to the three central leaflets that are prominent above the others. Another name is “Eggs & Bacon”, based on the red and yellow colouring seen as the flowers are opening, and another “Granny’s Toenails”. A fantastic source of nectar for insects, the plant is also used by farmers as quality pasture, hay and silage. Amongst several herbal uses, the flowers are used as a sedative. It can prevent soil erosion, and is planted along roadsides to achieve this effect.


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