Visit to the woods along Lower Road

19 August 2011

Woods above Lower Road

The many footpaths through the woods along Lower Road are popular routes for local walkers and runners, but on this occasion a group of us set off from Myddle to record what trees are actually growing in the woodland.

On the approach to the wood and the roadside hedges we noticed fruit bushes - Crab Apple, Dog Rose full of hips, and some rather small Damson fruit.  The hedgerows contained Hawthorn, Hazel, Dog Rose, Field Maple, Elder, Blackthorn with a few sloes, and Holly.

The first part of the wood is predominantly broad leaved and semi natural.

The most frequent species are mature Pedunculate Oak, Sycamore (its leaves spotted with black fungus) and Sweet Chestnut.  Rather less common are Rowan and Ash.  We noticed three mature Yews, a few Larch, Pine, Horse Chestnut and some small Holly.

As we came to the old Quarry workings and beyond, the tree canopy changed quite noticeably, with many more conifers, Silver Birch, and some very dry looking Gorse.

It was very noticeable how many of the trees bordering the road were drooping and withering through lack of water, and the Chestnuts in particular already shedding their leaves.  The parish seems to have missed most of the rain which has swept across the country in recent weeks.

The floor of the wood was again very dry.  The predominant species at this time of year is Bracken, with some Bramble and Ivy.  Some very shrivelled Broad Buckler ferns were found, along with the drooping remnants of Wood Sage and the dried remains of the spring Bluebells.  Here and there under the bracken was Climbing Corydalis.

A spring visit to the woods is definitely needed to take a further look at the flora.