Monday, 27 April 2015

Coppice produce

Our main reason for coppicing in Filnore Woods is to enhance the habitat.  By cutting down some of the shrubs and trees we let more light in.  This can result in coarse growth of nettles and brambles at first, but ultimately we hope to promote woodland flowering plants and ferns.

 A secondary purpose is to make use of the cut material.  Our annual sale of bean sticks and plant stakes earns us a bit of cash to support the work in the woods.

We can cut wood to order: beansticks, peasticks, rustic poles for pergolas, stakes of varied thickness, etc.  any length and any diameter.  We are also thinning out the trees so just ask if you think we might be able to provide what you need.

Alan saw this rival enterprise in Kampong Chhnang in Cambodia.

Alan says:

Kampong Chhnang is a major fishing port on the Tonle Sap river in Cambodia just a bit downstream from the Tonle Sap lake. Further down, the river feeds into the Mekong.
As you approach it up the river you pass through a collection of houses, shops and even a school and church that all float on the river. It’s generally known as the ‘floating village’ and is quite amazing to see. As you travel upstream it peters out and becomes the land based town of Kampong Chhnang.

If you put Kampong Chhnang into Google there are lots of pictures to be seen.

Sunday, 26 April 2015

A mushroom for St George

Simon Harding photographed these mushrooms at Filnore Woods actually on St George's Day, 23rd April.  That's why they are called St George's Mushrooms.  Field Mushrooms, the ones we commonly eat, appear in late summer and autumn.

St George's Mushrooms are perfectly safe to eat as long as you get the right one.  Apparently the taste is good.  Don't use these photos to identify them.  Learn from an expert. 

This view from undeneath shows the whitish gills below the cap.  Thank you, Simon, for the pics.

Saturday, 25 April 2015

Robin reminding you

Like the blackbird, and the song thrush, the ROBIN is a worm-catcher so he has to be an early bird.  These three are some of the first to start singing in the dawn chorus.

Here is a three minute song by a Robin from TelsWeb on YouTube.  Try closing your eyes to concentrate on listening so that you can recognise the song next time you hear it outside.

Robins are one of the few birds that sing all the year round.  So there is a touch of winter about this varied and tuneful song.

Dawn Chorus Walk 5.00 am Sunday April 26th

Friday, 24 April 2015

Ground Ivy

Just one of the many tiny delights provided by springtime flowers.  This is Ground Ivy.  It's not related to ivy but it does retain its leaves through the winter.  In sunny places the leaves turn purplish. 

The plant was also known as Gill and was used to flavour beer before hops were introduced to England in the 16th century.  As well as gill-beer, gill-tea was also used as a cough cure.

Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Song thrush

We used to have a thrush's anvil in our garden - a stone used by a song thrush to bash snails on to crack the shells.  This was good for the garden as it kept the snails down, and also meant we could hear the thrush's distinctive song.  The population of song thrushes has been in decline for a while now but we still have some at Filnore.

You can tell a song thrush because it repeats a lot of its phrases two or three times.  
Here are a couple of videos with sound from youtube.  
First from Superbarney79.  Thank you Superbarney.

And a slightly more hesitant singer 
from Bernard Wellings in Colwyn Bay.  Thanks, Bernard.

We shall hear thrushes on the
Dawn Chorus Walk round Filnore Woods, 
Sunday 26th April, 5.00 am

Monday, 20 April 2015


We have some wood anemones, also known as windflowers, in one location in Filnore Woods.  They are in bloom now.

Hopefully they will spread by seed and rhizome.

Saturday, 18 April 2015

Ash trees in flower

Look up at the leafless ash trees and you will see that many of them are flowering.  You may also see the spent male flowers on the ground under the trees, so look down as well as up.

The male and female flowers are similar but occur on different trees - usually.  The tricksy thing about ash trees is that they sometimes change sex, so a male tree one year may be female the next, or even carry some branches of each sex.