Welcome to the Great Wood Blog

This Blog allows visitors to keep up to date with news and events at the Great Wood. If you like the pictures shown here, you can click on them to see a larger image.

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More butterfly photos from Dee Cullen, the butterfly recorder.

With a deep shadow across its wing, this Purple Hairstreak is difficult to recognise at first. A second is edge on to the camera, both feeding on young acorns, while an ant also gets into the act.

Purple Hairstreak again.

Mating Ringlets.

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Heather Glade

The big block of heather is currently in full flower.

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Silver washed fritillary

Here’s a small video of a silver washed fritillary feeding on thistle in the picnic area.

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Justice Hill glade

Recently we found a considerable outcrop of Broom and some Gorse in the glade and these were protected during the recent flailing. Also, a small patch of heather was found close to the path.

Small patch of gorse

Broom Heather

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Notice to dog walkers

We appreciate that many visitors to the Great Wood Local Nature Reserve come not only to enjoy the wood and the walk, but also to exercise their dogs. Bye-law 9 of the Great Wood requires owners or those responsible to keep dogs under proper control at all times. Unfortunately, there have recently been reports of people and other dogs being attacked by uncontrolled dogs and in at least one case the owner was aware of a previous history of such problems. These incidents have been reported to the police.

If you own a dog which is known to be aggressive towards other people or animals, or you are uncertain about its temperament, it is essential that the dog be kept on a lead and/or muzzled at all times. You will appreciate that the wood is not permanently wardened or patrolled, so we would ask that all visitors to the wood report any inappropriate behaviour by dogs and their owners to the police by contacting them on 101.

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Purple Hairstreak eggs

Dee Cullen sent in this fascinating photograph of Purple Hairstreak eggs on oak buds, taken back on 18th March.

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More spring images

The hornbeam shoots we planted earlier this year appear to be thriving
Greater Stichwort grows amongst the emerging Bluebells
Some of the Hawthorns are now flowering. Note the insect visitor.
The crab apples are also flowering
Apple blossom with visitor.

More ‘dramatic’ HDR images from around the wood.

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Signs of Spring

As always, click on photos for a larger view. More photos are on our Facebook page

Blackthorn in full blossom: Hut Glade
Branches of blackthorn
Close-up of blackthorn blossom
Hornbeam catkins
Both male and female catkins are present
Compared to the ornamental cherry trees we see on our verges and in gardens, the Wild Cherry is less spectacular
Young cherry along the old bridlepath
Cherry blossom

Alongside Cuffley Brook in the NE corner of the wood, look out for:

Lesser Celandine
Wood Anenome

We also find ‘domestic escapes’ along the south of the wood, spreading from the gardens along The Ridgeway:

Lesser Periwinkle

In the next few weeks, look out for the Bluebells. The very first have started to appear:-

Early bluebell
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Planting hornbeam shoots

Last Friday we continued planting new hornbeam shoots to strengthen the boundary with the camp where the old hornbeams have been ‘laid’. With all the recent snow and rain, the ground conditions were not good, but this did make planting easier.

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Seen at Redstart’s Corner

An oak branch provides a home for funghi, lichen and moss.

The bracken may be dead, but a few evergreen ferns grow on a mossy bank on Grimes Brook.

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