Saturday 19th May 2012

Natural History Walk at Stockhill Forest, Near Priddy

<b>Trail leader board</b>
Trail leader board

Stockhill Forest

It was an overcast morning with sunny spells (14 degrees C) when eight members set out from the car park round part of Stockhill Forest. We covered about 2.4 km by various pathways, following the purple arrows which took a circular route back to the car park.

Many different trees were observed, those identified being Lawson's cypress, Norway spruce, Scots pine, hornbeam, wild cherry, willow, goat willow, rowan (mountain ash), beech, hazel and silver birch.

Unusually only a few crows and one blackcap were seen as the season after March had been cold and very wet. Flowering plants were late, but we did see a coltsfoot in flower, dog violets, ground ivy, English bluebells (identified by their creamy stamens and one-sided growth on the stem), wood sorrel, lady smock ( or cuckoo flower) and forget-me-nots.

Deer track in the mud

No butterflies were seen, but we did see deer marks in mud, a baby frog in wet grass and in a water-filled deepish vehicle wheel track we saw some smooth newts and some pond skaters as seen by me in the same location over twelve months ago.

Due to the strange weather pattern recently it was unlike a day in May, however it was a pleasant walk. Please see link below for more information.

Malcolm Marston

<b>Tree in bud</b>
Tree in bud

<b>Children's wigwam</b>
Children's wigwam

<b>Coltsfoot poking out of soil</b>
Coltsfoot poking out of soil