Sunday, 19 February 2017

Motorbike tracks


Unexplained tracks on the churned up paths.  
Could this be the beginning of a motorbike invasion?


Too early to panic or involve the police again, but biking is inappropriate in the community woodland and nature reserve.



Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Turkey Tail


The Turkey Tail fungus grows on dead wood.  Each of the many brackets has concentric circles of colour, suposedly like the plumage in a turkey's tail


They can vary a lot in colour.  
These below are a darker brown


Thursday, 9 February 2017

Blushing Bracket


The Blushing Bracket (Daedaleopsis confragosa) grows on willow branches.  It gets its English name from the fact that the underside will stain red when bruised.  When you get one bracket you usually find more on the same dead branch.



Sunday, 5 February 2017

Overgrown hedge

The next stretch of hedge contains very large hazel and hawthorn plants as well as a couple of ash trees and a mature holly.  As they have got taller the bottom of the hedge has become gappy because the shade kills off the lower shoots.  



This hedge, between Filnore
Woods and the Filnore Allotments, has also been overwhelmed by Brambles, Elder and Old Man's Beard, especially on the far side.



Brambles


Elder


Old Man's Beard

So by coppicing all the hedge plants we shall promote new fresh growth, which will be ready to be laid in three years' time.  This will produce a low dense hedge, letting in more light to the benefit of flowering plants, and producing a rich habitat.

Last autumn (see blogpost for 19/11/16) a lot of undergrowth was flailed off in preparation for hedge management. 
   
   


 This has left a lot of loose ends to be cleared.  By repeatedly mowing this land through the summer we shall encourage grass and wild flowers to replace the brambles.


Much of this debris has now been cleared and we have started cutting the hedge down to ground level.  To protect the allotments on the other side of the hedge we shall use the cut material to create a dead hedge.  A lot of work to get done before the end of February when the nesting season begins.










Monday, 30 January 2017

Hart's tongue fern


The greenest green plant in the woods at this season.  This Hart's Tongue Fern (Asplenium sclopendrium) has undivided fronds.  

It favours alkaline conditions, often growing on limestone rocks or walls, and so gives an indication of the type of soil.  

There is quite a lot of it in the Valley Woodland at Filnore near post 9.

Tuesday, 24 January 2017

Lambstails and 'sea anemones'


Hazel catkins are opening up, some bushes flower earlier than others.

The catkinbs are the male flowers producing pollen.  The female flowers, which develop into hazel nuts, are like tiny red sea anemones.  There are two just visible in the photograph below.







Friday, 13 January 2017

Winter toadstools

Throughout Filnore Woods we maintain 20 marker posts to help you find your way round the self-guided trail.  
Near the leaning Silver Maple is number 16 leading you between two plane trees.


Not far away is another tree which has unfortunately suffered some bark damage.  
A broken decayed stem had to be sawn off.  


If you look closely at the sawn off stump you can make out some toadstools of the fungus called Velvet Shank (Flammulina velutipes).


Here are some photos of a more spectacular specimen I saw in Leigh Woods last week.  
The Latin name means 'little flames with velvet feet'.  


 Each stalk is covered in dark brown velvet at the base.



Velvet Shank is one of the few fungi to survive winter's cold.