Saturday, 15 May 2010

A walk in the woods

With rain threatened for this afternoon, we popped into the woods this morning to see what new things are growing there since we last had a proper look round. Everything's very green now, and the paths are beautiful to walk along:
We came in through Sweep Wood, where we were coppicing last winter. The ground at the top is transformed, with the sunlight coming in and much of the ivy gone. The result is large patches of nettles and Dog's Mercury coming up:
along with some more exotic-looking plants, like Lords and Ladies:
The mystery fruit tree has some fruit on it. This time we're determined to keep an eye on it and find out what it is, and also try the fruit! Any suggestions so far?
The trees we coppiced are sprouting their shoots now:
and even the chestnut stakes we made to hold log piles in place are having a go:
As you go deeper into the wood, there are still lots of bluebells (they're winding down in the sunnier spots now, having started earlier there):
There are a few white bluebells around as well:
and also some that are white with a hint of blue:
Ferns are unfurling. These are different to Bracken, which grows better in the sunnier spots.
We also spotted a primrose, which must have been there before but we'd never noticed it...
Carrying on from there, the path between Sweep Wood and Grist Wood is getting darker now the leaves are coming out:
Making our way to Chestnut Coppice, we passed the pond. After drying out and then being re-dug last summer, it's stayed full and is now back to the "green stage":
I expect it to develop more variety over the summer, as in previous years. Near the pond is some chestnut that has grown remarkably straight since coppicing:
the reason why is apparent when you look up - it has a restricted view of the sky, directly overhead:
This is of course why coppices are meant to be densely planted, so that each tree helps its neighbours to grow up straight by blocking light from the sides.

Entering into our "wildlife corridor", there's a profusion of plants appearing at the sides of the path:
There's a huge variety here, compared to the shaded woodland a bit further from the path.
Near the junction between our main ride and the footpath, there's some Holly which looks like it might have berries this winter:
Arriving in our own wood, we went to check on the fruit trees, which are doing pretty well:

It's amazing how fast they're growing once the blossoms have finished:
We're picking off the blossoms once they've finished (after the insects have made use of them). This is so that this year the trees don't put any resources into growing fruit, and increase in size and strength instead.

Much of the area near our camp is carpeted with green now:
and the coppice is growing taller and denser:
But amongst it, there are still new plants arriving, like this Bluebell and Honeysuckle:
We had a quick look in the wayleave for butterflies, but it wasn't really sunny enough. We did see the Broom is coming into flower though:
Last of all, what's this insect? I thought it was probably a wasp of some sort, do tell me if you know!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think the wasp is a Digger Wasp, Larra Anathema.