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FLORA & FAUNA

Flowers are mostly found near the southern entrance to the wood. The Snowdrop Galanthus nivalis might fIrst be seen but is soon rivalled by the early, dark blue, Sweet Violet Viola odorata spreading around an area to the left of the main path.
Soon winter sunshine will catch the yellow glint of the Lesser Celandine Ranunculus vicaria carpeting this same area where the path leads to the centre of the wood. A patch of Winter Aconites Eranthis hyemalis struggle to survive not far away and the soft green leaves of the Cuckoo Pint Arum maculatum are soon to appear.

During summer months various Geraniums, Burdock and Mallow can be seen by the western path together with the blossoms of the Wayfaring Tree Vibernum lantana, Rose and Bramble. Stinking Iris Iris joetidissima grows nearby in both its mauve and rarer yellow forms.

All wild plant life indigenous to CT10 can be found at the Natural History Museum Postcode Plants Database and serious conservation planting principles need to be consistent to this. However, you may find alien varieties as garden escapes and due to the woodland's progression in an urban location. Bluebells here fit into this category.

It appears that Beech, Ash, Sycamore, Horse Chestnut, Elm and Walnut featured in the original plantation here; and a remaining Walnut tree still stands in the former meadow end. Elm is now present, presumably self seeded or suckered from original plantings lost to the mid-twentieth century occurrence of Dutch Elm disease. Many smaller species remain such as Holly and Hazel. Replanting hedging whips has been part of the current programme for volunteers. Near the car park entrance a grove of Wild Cherry trees bloom in April and an abundance of Elderflower throughout the wood serves to remind us of its popularity for winemaking.

Undisturbed, fallen trees will develop many species of fungi. Look on fallen branches of Elder to see the pinky-brown bracket fungus Jews Ear Auricularia auricularjudae. On old stumps Many-Zoned Fungus Coriolus versicolor occurs in decorative multicoloured bands. Not so attractive are the inedible black projections of Dead Man's Fingers Xylaria polymorpha found on old Beech tree stumps. Toadstools include Fairy Ring Champignon Marasmus oreades and the greenish Clitocybe odora, which smells of aniseed.

Mallow, Burdock, Ivy, grasses all support birds, butterflies and moths and the growth of Nettles around the woodland edge is essential habitat for the Red Admiral, Peacock and Comma. Other butterflies seen there include the Holly Blue, Gatekeeper and Meadow Brown sipping nectar from the Bramble blossom. Shafts of sunlight filtering through the tall trees will attract the dainty Speckled Wood butterfly and Squirrels often seen there, make a special contribution to the woodland scene

 



 
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Horse Chestnut
pink & yellow blossoms
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Celandine
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Bracket Fungi
 
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Cuckoo Pint flower
arum maculatum
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Cuckoo Pint in
autumn

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Speckled wood
Butterfly
 
 
   
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Wild Cherry
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Hazel nuts