"Some of nature's most exquisite handiwork is on a miniature scale, as anyone knows who has applied a magnifying glass to a snowflake."
"All my life through, the new sights of Nature made me rejoice like a child."
"There are always flowers for those who want to see them"
In this section we aim to show some of the things we find growing in and around the woods. Plants, fungi, lichen and other epyphytes all make for a fascinating world; from the simple beauty of a flower or seed head, to fungi suddenly springing up over night, the woodland floor and trees are home to a variety of marvels.
Nature presents us with a living stage with ever-changing sets, scenes and cast members playing their parts. It might seem that the plants are just the scenery where the fauna play out their life and death roles, where the cast changes as different actors come and go; but the living stage has been set with the establishment of the woods, and the plants have their own stories to tell.
Miranda on flora:
Being a serious plantophile, the developing flora of the woods is of great interest to me and I’m delighted to have the opportunity to visit often and see what is growing amongst the trees. From November to early spring, there was little to be seen but there were signs of flowers to come, like the old foliage of coltsfoot (Tussilago farfara) as a prelude to the April flowers and small rosettes of low growing foliage indicating a growing community of cowslips. The signs were there that the woods are becoming home to a wider variety than those considered the ‘weed’ plants of the farmland this once was. In one corner of the woods, there are already native bluebells to be seen and this year orange hawkweed (Pilosella aurantiaca) has turned up.
As the woodland matures, seeds will blow in on the wind and many will be dropped in the excrement of birds and mammals; even ants will carry seeds from one spot to another and gradually the wild flowers will increase in diversity. It is tempting to give nature a helping hand and create an instant woodland garden, but just as tempting, and far more interesting from a naturalist’s point of view, is to hold back one’s impatience and just wait to see what happens. I watch with a gardener’s eye and an eager anticipation combined with deliberate calm, for it is happening and will continue to do so.
Find out more about woodland flora with the Woodland Trust
And here is a great PDF plant ID sheet from PlantLife