Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Umbellifers 2: Pignut

You could mistake it for a rather small and weedy cow parsley flower, but the Pignut is a separate species of umbellifer.  It forms well-spaced groups in the long grass.

Each plant has a small tuber on the roots, rather like the kernal of a hazel nut.  Pigs like them - hence the name - but they are also edible by humans and quite tasty. 

Recognition clue: the leaves of the pignut plant are very finely divided.

Monday, 30 May 2016

Umbellifer 1: Cow Parsley

Identification of plants in the Apiaceae (Umbellifers) can be a bit difficult.  Here is the first of four which are not too hard.  It's a start.

First up is Cow Parsley which grows along the lanes, in the fields and even under the shade of the woodland canopy.

In bloom now at Filnore Woods and everywhere.

Pure white flowers on thin stalks.

Very pointed, ferny leaves but not as flat and shiny as Hemlock, which is in a later post.

Sunday, 29 May 2016


The familiar Creeping Buttercup (Ranunculus repens) has braod leaves made of three leaflets, often with lighter spots.  As its name suggests, it spreads by runners and will creep all over your garden given the chance.

In the picture above you can see Creeping Buttercup leaves on the left, contrasting with a Meadow Buttercup leaf on the right, which is much more finely divided.

Meadow buttercups are usually taller and can compete with long grass.

They are both in flower now, side by side in the grass at Filnore Woods

Saturday, 28 May 2016

Furry things on the woodland floor

Two species of willow, Goat Willow and Grey Willow, are so similar that we usually lump them together and call them Sallow or, in spring, Pussy Willow.

The male flowers dropped off weeks ago and now the female flowers have developed into fluffy seed heads.  The fluff helps the seed to sail away on the wind and find somewhere new to grow but many of the seed heads fall on to the ground, looking like furry caterpillars.

This helps you to locate the sallow tree.

Thursday, 26 May 2016

In flower now at Filnore Woods

Cowslips just going over


Cuckoo flower - last blooms

Cow Parsley or Queen Anne's Lace


Red Campion

Campion with buttercups - striking combination

Do you like butter?

Wednesday, 25 May 2016

May blossom

Hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna) is now in flower, great arching stems of creamy blossom.

On time as ever this month, it is known as may blossom

Hurry, it wll soon be over

Monday, 23 May 2016


Here are two common members of the Lamiaceae or Deadnettle Family, blooming in Filnore Woods near you now.

The blue Ground Ivy and the White Deadnettle

Friday, 20 May 2016

Mowing the Viewpoint

Mowing the long grass at the Viewpoint near posts 7 & 8 at the last work morning, Sunday 8th May.
Each scyther has his or her own style.

Every five minutes or so the blade has to be honed.  
(Despite appearances Eric is not really trying to cut Will's legs from under him)

Then comes the raking up.

Andy and Allan made many journeys with a load of grass

But the mowers produced ever more. 

Thirsty work 

But the effort gives a sense of achievement.

We have started mowing earlier this year so we hope to keep on top of the job.  If possible we shall get more areas mown so that we increase the short grass habitat as well as the long grass.

Monday, 9 May 2016

Bluebells spreading

Most people's favourite woodland flower is the bluebell.  These photos are of the bluebells to the side of the main entrance to Filnore Woods.  They have flourished since we laid the hedge.

In many other places where we have cleared brambles and opened up the ground, bluebells seem to be on the increase.  What a pleasure!

Sunday, 1 May 2016

Scything season starts

Now that the grass is growing we have started the mowing regime.  Nine of us were wielding the scythes, rakes and pitchforks last Wednesday.

Here you can see Cynthia, Peter, Roger, Steve, Jim, Alan and Oliver at work up by the Memorial Lime Trees near post 3 at Filnore.