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Sunday, 4 April 2010

Wood anemones walk from Cuckfield

This short walk was from the Mid Sussex Ramblers' programme to look at wood anemones in an ancient wood. 
Perhaps the most interesting way in which ancient woodlands can be distinguished from more recently established woodlands is by their diverse flora and fauna. Indeed, certain plant species, are either entirely restricted to, or only rarely found outside, ancient woodlands. These are known as ancient woodland indicator species. Where a number of these species are found together, there is a high likelihood that the wood in which they occur is of ancient origin. Ancient woodland indicator species include the trees Field Maple, Holly, Wild Cherry and Sessile Oak, and the flowers, Bluebell, Dog’s Mercury, Ramsons, Wood Anemone, Wood Sorrel and Yellow Archangel. Woodlands containing more than 10 AWIs are more likely to be ancient in origin.

  Bucks CC - Bernwood Forest - Living In A Medieval Forest ...

Plants that we found this day included;

Foxglove Digitalis pupurea
Bluebell Hyacinthoides non-scripta
Lords-and-ladies Arum maculatum
Early dog-violet  Viola reichenbachiana
Lady's smock  Cardamine pratensis
Ground ivy Glechoma hederacea
Click on any underlined text for more information.
Click on any picture to expand it.
Well done Zoe for spotting this Lady's Smock flower, circled in blue -- the first that we had seen this year.
The group inspecting the flowers of Dog's mercury plants.
A badger run.
Is this a badger print? I think is it, despite the confusion of worm casts.
Click this BBC link to compare animal tracks.
Classic badger set.

Wood-sorrel is also known as fairy bells, sleeping clover, sleeping beauty  Perhaps the most charming name of all, though, was Alleluia, which, according to William Turner writing in 1568, was given ‘because it appeareth about Easter when Alleluya is song agayn’. 
 It is also good to eat in small quantities.  It contains oxalic acid though, so too much might make you ill.

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