Monday, 10 August 2009

Mysteries solved...

On our Moth Survey a couple of weeks ago, we were fortunate to have Phil Sansum, of the High Weald AONB unit there. His job is to identify and map ancient woodland in the area, so he is of course an expert in identifying plants! We showed him our mystery trees/shrubs:
and he immediately identified this one as alder buckthorn! We were sure we had this somewhere, as we get a lot of Brimstone butterflies in the wood, and this plant is the food of their caterpillars. We'll be cutting the chsetnut around it this winter to get a bit more light to it - at present it is shaded and doesn't fruit.

Phil also identified the other mystery tree as crab apple, which some people had tentatively suggested. Both this and alder buckthorn are ancient woodland indicators.

He also identified some other plants for us along the way. Our 7-foot high thistle is a Marsh Thistle (sorry, no photo), apparently they don't just grow in Marshes!

This is Wood Sage, which we have all over the place:
And this is Common Figwort, with a drunk wasp drinking from it:
These are all growing in the coupe we cut 18 months ago, where there are now patches of ground alive with plants:
We're up at the wood quite a bit this week, tidying some logs into racks ready to cut up in the winter, and doing various other odd jobs.

More to come on that later...


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