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Archive for the ‘Flora and Fauna’ Category

Further to the previous blog post regarding the bluebells at Heartwood Forest, our monitoring of the woodland shows how well the woodland is recovering. Bluebells are coming back to the cordoned off damaged areas at an incredible rate, thanks to all those people who are helping the Woodland Trust to protect the bluebells by staying on the paths and encouraging others to do so. These are photographs taken at the same spot, within a protected area, two years apart with the second one being taken a week ago.

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New areas have been cordoned off this year, in the hope that they also can regenerate and recover, as, just a few years ago, they too were covered in bluebells.

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It is wonderful to see the ability that nature has to recover from the damage done to it, with the help and respect of the visitors to the woods, meaning that the spectacular sight of a mass of blue within our woods will be there for many years to come.

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We are coming to the end of the Winter planting season – just 3 more work parties to go before the end of March when we have to stop planting. The trees are already starting to bud – and today’s work party enjoyed some wonderful sunshine.

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This spurred the volunteers on to plant over 3000 trees, a fantastic achievement!

We still have plenty more trees to plant before the end of the month, though!

The 3 work parties left are on Wednesday 15th March, Tuesday 21st March and Monday 27th March.

If you haven’t been before and would like to come along to help in planting the last trees of the season, please email heartwood@woodlandtrust.org.uk for further details.

We usually meet at 10am, with the meeting location varying according to where the work parties are based.

The sessions finish around 3pm, but people come and go as they need to. Hot drinks are provided but if you are staying for the whole day, please bring your own lunch. Please also make sure that you are wearing suitable clothing and footwear.

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Don’t forget our planting session at Heartwood Forest – only a week and a half to go! Why not come along and plant some trees – it’s a great activity for all ages!

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Would you like to come along and help to create Heartwood Forest? We have a tree planting session on Sunday 27th November 2016 – everybody is welcome! It’s great fun for all ages! Dogs enjoy joining in too! We hope to see you there!

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One of the Heartwood volunteers, Brian Legg, was delighted to be offered the opportunity to take some aerial photos of Heartwood Forest recently. These are the fantastic results of his trip:

Here you can see the entrance to Heartwood Forest, with the track leading to the car park. Langley Wood is on the left, with various planted areas around.

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Langley Wood, showing the Festival Field to the side.

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Another view of Langley Wood, looking towards Wheathampstead, with Sandridge to the right.

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Pismire Spring, Well Wood and Pudlers Wood, with Round Wood in the distance.

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View across the car park field, towards Wheathampstead.

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The arboretum, at the end of the triangular field opposite the main entrance to Heartwood Forest. You can see it in the distance, on the right side of the photo above.

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Some detail of the arboretum.

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A completely different way to view Heartwood Forest!

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We are delighted to be able to tell you that the Purple Emperor butterfly has been spotted at Heartwood Forest. The following report was sent in by David Hunt, who took the photo shown below:

“Resisting the distant call of a cold beer, I then went on to Heartwood Forest to see if there were any White-letter Hairstreak around the regenerating elm along the southeast boundary of Well Wood. No luck. Other butterflies seen included many Gatekeeper, a couple of Meadow Brown (the reverse of the situation on Nomansland); 2 Comma, 5 Green-veined White; 1 Large White; 2 Speckled Wood (in Pudler’s Wood); 1 very tatty Ringlet; and 3 Holly Blue. Approaching the small pond at the southern tip of Well Wood I became aware of a substantial shadow flapping and gliding its way across the path. Looking up, I saw the owner – a Purple Emperor! It settled in the nearby Hornbeam tree, about 5m up, and sunned itself for a while before leaving and drifting about the adjacent oaks. I lost sight of it for a while but it then reappeared with, to my surprise, another Purple Emperor. They swooped languidly around each other a couple of times and then settled at separate locations in the foliage at the top of the tallest of the three adjacent oaks by the pond. After a couple more minutes, and not being equipped, like all good PE enthusiasts with folding chair, flask and bobble hat, I left for that cold beer I mentioned earlier. One happy bunny!”

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A huge thank you to David and Butterfly Conservation (Herts and Middx Branch) for letting us know and passing on the photo.

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In case you haven’t seen it, BBC Earth have published an article on wildlife and nature in Heartwood Forest and other places. Information for this has come from the very active monitoring group at Heartwood.

http://www.bbc.com/earth/story/20160216-wild-places-where-nature-bucks-the-trend

 

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