Wednesday 14 February 2024

The Last Post

I'm afraid I have to tell you the sad news that Jerry Dicker has passed away. Jerry started this blog in December 2011 shortly before the Friends of Filnore Woods came into being back in 2012. Since then there have been lots of changes in the woodland, many of which have been reported in Jerry's blog. You will know from reading his posts that his knowledge of flowers, trees, birds and insects was extensive. He enjoyed passing on this knowledge and took great pleasure in writing his blog.

None of us who work in Filnore Woods have his breadth of knowledge and would not be able to continue this blog in its current form. We feel that it should be left as a lasting resource, and as a memorial to the time and effort Jerry invested to make the woods what they are today.

Instead, we will try to start a new blog to show what work is taking place in the woods and generally how they are getting on. There won't be as much about the wildlife and plants but we will do our best and hope that Jerry would have approved. This new blog will be called 'Filnore Woods 2 blog' and can be found at -

We will miss his happy personality and cheery smile at work parties, and his knowledge of the flowers and wildlife in the woods. He will be a great loss not only to the woods but also to the Thornbury community as a whole.

Saturday 18 November 2023



Health Centre car park again: this time it's not berries but maple samaras making this ash-leaved maple (Acer negundo) spectacular up to Christmas.

The stems are green and the leaves , which are mostly gone by now, are pinnate, meaning they have between 3 and 5 leaflets.

There are variegated and pink forms of this tree, which is also known as Box Elder although it is neither an elder nor a box tree.

Tuesday 14 November 2023


The  Broad-leaved Cockspur Thorn (Crataegus prunifolia) ia a North American relative of the Hawthorn and does well in Britain. 

The red berries last up until Christmas and the leaves are often very colourful in autumn.

This specimen grows alongside the Thornbury Health Centre car park


Tuesday 24 October 2023


Poplar is one of mistletoe's favourite hosts. Now the leaves are dropping off, the mistletoe shows up, not only on poplar, but also on lime, apple, robinia, silver maple and occasionally on hawthorn, oak and other trees.


Saturday 21 October 2023


 One of the few grasses that I can confidently name, 
Wall Barley is ideal for throwing at your pals like a dart.

Wednesday 18 October 2023


Although both the Pale Tussock Moth and the Knot Grass Moth are an attractive mottled grey, their caterpillars are more striking.  Because they overwinter as pupae, the caterpillars are around in September and early October - a nice bit of autumn colour.


Knot Grass


Pale Tussock

Photos:Caterpillars: Alan Watts.        Adult moths: Naturespot

Saturday 14 October 2023


Although we have help cutting the grass at Filnore Woods from South Glos Tom and his mighty mowing machine, the arisings have to be raked off in order to bring down the fertility so that next year's wild flowers are not overwhelmed by more vigorous grasses and other flowering plants.  This raking is one of the many jobs that the Filnore Friends volunteers undertake to keep the place rich in biodiversity and pleasant to visit.

So it is good that the RHS '?It's Your Neighbourhood' Scheme has recognised their efforts with a level 5 Outstanding award

Well done guys and gals.