If You Go Down To The Woods Today - Volume 1 Issue 1

Hello there.  My name is Greg Power and I have the incredible privilege of being the woodsman for Cogley Wood.  As we progress through the year, I hope to be provide you with snippets of knowledge and information that will inspire you to go out and explore your part of this incredibly Great Britain.

Spring is Springing

Spring is springing. It’s not very far away at all and the changes are in the air. 

Bird song is loud and obvious now, no longer a pleasant background soundtrack.  It’s different as they’re trying to out sing each other so a mate is attracted to them. The beam of the headtorch is catching billions of tiny pollen particles that the trees are shedding, especially birch, hazel and willow. The days are longer and ever-so slightly warmer.  Spring is most definitely meandering her way towards us.

For me, as a dedicated follower of British Nature there are other signs, much smaller and less obvious that the seasons are about to change. 

The first one is the appearance of a gorgeous fungi called the scarlet elf cap/cup. 

This tiny fungus is like the herald that calls for the end of Winter and the start of Spring.  Although its bright red fruit body is so striking, you won’t always spot it as it tucks itself away in the leaf litter and moss. Once you do though, you’ll be seeing it everywhere. 

The next sign is so ubiquitous with Spring it truly is a flower of the season; the primrose.

The primrose will soon carpet woodland, gardens and verges. It was a favourite  Edwardian cake decoration and the flower really does taste sweet. Remember that pollinators need the flowers so if you fancy trying primrose only take a few.

The final, tiny flower is really 12-14 in one bud. What looks to be petals are the stiles of up to 14 flowers, all trying to catch the hazel pollen so later in the year they will be hazelnuts. Tiny and often unseen, this has to be my absolute favourite flower of Spring.

So, Get Outside…

With our work being conducted so quickly, remotely and often inside, it is easy to see how our disconnect with Mother nature has occurred. The solution is easy.  Simply, get outside.  Breathe deep and observe what’s surrounding you. Enjoy our seasons and the different theatres of nature that play out in each one. I promise, you won’t be disappointed. 

Until next time.