The morning of Saturday 27 February was cold, dank and a bit dismal – not at all inviting. So naturally 15 people turned out for the 2016 Winter Birds guided walk in Hillhouse Wood, West Bergholt. This was the largest number that I can recall for this walk. It is one of the most variable of the ones I lead, both in terms of what we see and how many attend. One year there was just two of us. I was glad to see that Linda Firmin, Jo’s widow, had turned up, as if there is anything to see she will spot it.
Buckthorn lives mainly on calcareous soils such as chalk and limestone. It grows alongside Alder blackthorn in Alder carr. The berries taste bitter and are poisonous, dissuading people from using them in this way. Continue reading →
Over the last couple of years I’ve been leading a walk around our local wood to show people the various fruits that our plants, shrubs and trees produce. Coupled with participation in the now defunct BTO Winter Thrushes survey, this has brought home to me how this ‘harvest’ can vary from year to year.
In the odd moment I get when not counting the vast profits we’re making from the Naturetale app, or planning where to buy the next of my country retreats, I volunteer for the Friends of Hillhouse Wood. On the basis that everyone else ‘took a step back’, I have found myself leading wildlife walks around the wood. Last Saturday I led a new one for us. Continue reading →