Thursday, 16 November 2017

nine beech trees

On the far side of the cowshed field at Filnore, there are nine young beech trees planted about ten years ago.  We have had to rescue them from enveloping brambles several times already.  

Eventually they will provide such dense shade that the tables will be turned and the brambles will be overpowered themselves.  

This photo was obviously taken in the green green summer.

Friday, 10 November 2017


We have sometimes been asked why we bother to restore parts of the hedgerow on the Filnore Woods boundary. 

Laid two years ago 

 A recent article in the Woodland Trust's internet magazine 'Woodwise' concerns trees outside woods and makes a particular reference to hedgerows: 

'Poor management is also a cause for concern, particularly with relation to hedgerows, which are a valuable wildlife resource. For hedgerows to have ‘favourable condition’, gaps must be kept to 10% or less of the total length (or per 30m section); they must be trimmed regularly to prevent conversion to scrub and trees; and non-native species must be controlled. Historical declines in hedgerows mean that proper management, restoration and creation of new hedgerows is vitally important.' 

Laid last year

 Where we coppiced the next section of hedge this year a host of formerly dormant bluebell bulbs threw up flowers.

New shoots were already appearing on the hazel stools in May.

And on the hawthorn stools

and on the Field Maple

And now, in November, re-growth on the coppiced stools, and the new plants we put in, are doing well

Sunday, 5 November 2017

Autumn colours

Red bryony berries hang blatantly on bushes where their creeping stems climbed unobtrusively during summer

Yellow aspen leaves stand out against the dark, misty woods

Beige rosebay stems with  beech leaves turning yellow behind

Green leaves tinted red on guelder rose bushes, where the scarlet berries still hang

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Flowers for All Saints Day

Even on a wet November day I found a dozen wild flowers at Filnore Woods

The last of the red clover

 Bramble, probably too late to set fruit

Tufted vetch with a tendril at the end of each leaf

Herb Robert - look at the seedpods

 Creeping thistle, defended by those spiny leaves

 Something from the dandelion tribe - maybe a Catsear

 Ragwort - we didn't pull all of it up, it seems
Ivy flowers (yellow) just turning into berries (green) 
which will later turn black

 Rather faded Yarrow

 White deadnettle

Hogweed is one of my favourites although it is a bit invasive
I like the Y-shaped petals on the outside of each flower cluster, - like rabbit's ears
But as it produces all these seeds, it grows everywhere
It's so well designed, so that every little flower gets the maximum sunlight.  And incidentally this elegant and statuesque structure is the result.

And this green stuff, which later becomes brown and stiff, as you can see in the background, is the flower head of dock.
Yes those really are flowers.

Sunday, 29 October 2017

Cup winners thriving

Here's Eric our chairman holding the Thornbury in Bloom Commendation Cup, which we were awarded this year, with volunteers Peter, Frank. Phil and Jim.

We also gained a 'THRIVING' award from the RHS 'It's Your Neighbourhood' awards.

Nice to have official recognition and we do appreciate any favourable comments from visitors to the site.

Friday, 27 October 2017

Step repairs

 Our jolly crew had some younger members last Wednesday;  Jacob and Harry helped with repairs to steps from the footbridge  (post 5) 
up towards the viewpoint (posts 6 & 7)

All made from local materials, the hazel poles are pegged in position with sharpened stakes and the steps are padded out with woodchip from the community composting site.

Helps to prevent you falling flat on a slippery slope

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Where's Vanessa ?

A variation on 'Where's Wally?'

Can you spot the Red Admiral butterfly (Vanessa atalanta) on this old man's beard?

I couldn't get any closer today.  Red Admirals have had a good year, the second most plentiful species of butterfly in 2017 after the Gatekeeper.  Meadow brown was third.