Tag Archives: Hillhouse wood

The world of Hillhouse wood is getting weirder

On Thursday (24 March) I popped down to the wood to see if the numbers of flowers out around my TrackaTree trees had changed at all, now that the nights are getting less cold.  They had not, but elsewhere in the wood the Wood anemones are starting to come out, with smaller numbers of Lesser celandines.  This is what we would expect to see at about this time of year.

04 Lesser celandine cropped    06 Wood anemone

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The 2016 Friends of Hillhouse Wood winter bird walk – plenty of birds, albeit absent ones!

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.

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The TrackaTree phenology project is up and running again in Hillhouse Wood

So – the wind has veered to the north, wintery squalls are scudding across the sky, and thus the obvious thing to do is a Trackatree field visit to see how Spring is getting on.  And I can report, with no little excitement, that things are stirring in the TrackaTree parts of Hillhouse Wood.  Continue reading

El Ninjo, Trackatree, and the agonies of a pincer movement

So, thanks to El Ninjo, this winter (so called) is proving to be an odd one indeed.  Our daffodils have been in flower for two weeks (normal time is first / second week in March), Twitter is awash with images of Snowdrops, and on Sunday Richard Jefferson and I saw our first Primroses (actually, Richard spotted them – I’d marched straight past; probably talking).  All of which means I’m feeling TrackaTree pressure even earlier than normal. Continue reading

BBC Countryfile comes to Hillhouse Wood, and I meet Tom

A few days ago a film crew from BBC Countryfile spent several hours in Hillhouse Wood, near Colchester.  They were filming a clip relating to Ash die back, and the Woodland Trust (who owns the wood) had suggested that our wood would be a suitable one to use.  This was on the basis that a) it has mature Ash trees, b) it is easily accessible, and c) (I suspect) that the Friends of Hillhouse Wood, a local support group, would likely provide someone to look after the filmers and make sure they didn’t get lost / trash the wood / hold an all-night rave. Continue reading

Plenty to see and talk about on my recent Autumn Fruits walk

In early October I led the third of my Autumn Fruits walks in and around Hillhouse Wood, near West Bergholt.  These walks focus on berries and nuts, but also cover whatever else we find along the way.  Continue reading

I lead the 2015 Hillhouse Wood Dawn Chorus Walk – and someone turns up!

16th May was that dreaded time of year when the alarm goes off at 3.20 am. Actually I’m coming to the conclusion that the worst part of the experience is when you set the alarm for 3.20, knowing that it will go off in barely 4 hours time. This year it was immediately noticeable that the sky was not totally dark, indicating an absence of any cloud. A good start.

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A Spring nature walk in Hillhouse wood – I seem to have got away with another one

On Saturday I led another nature walk around Hillhouse wood.  At least with most of the ‘action’ centring on flowers I knew that there would be something to see – they can’t run, slither, swim or fly away.  Continue reading

Frenetic TrackaTree action at Hilhouse Wood

After today’s Trackatree visit to Hillhouse Wood someone of my advanced years needed a lie down.  Everything in the wood more or less stood still for the first half of March, due to the consistently cold temperatures, which rather took the pressure off my TrackaTree monitoring visits.  But you know that, once things warm up a bit, nature will make up for lost time. Continue reading