Tag Archives: wildlife conservation

May Tree

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Hawthorn blossom is a sure sign that Spring has arrived in England and it usually reaches full bloom during the second week of May, but in Scotland it’s a different matter; here it can often be as late as mid-June. The Scots even have a saying: “Ne’er cast a cloot til Mey’s oot”, roughly translated this means don’t pack your woollies away until the May flowers are in full bloom [Hawthorn blossoms].

In Celtic folklore it is believed that the Hawthorn can heal a broken heart, whilst in Serbian and Croatian folklore, Hawthorn stakes are thought to be deadly to vampires.

On a more practical level, the wood of some species of Hawthorn is extremely hardy and rot resistant. Not recognised as a timber growing tree by the UK Forestry industry but is nevertheless an important species for wildlife. Hawthorns are also recommended for hedges and water conservation landscapes.

Exe Valley Woodland

Wonham KilnI paid a visit to a 14 acre woodland today in the Exe Valley after receiving an enquiry about nesting boxes for Dormice. This small wood is in its first year of management after not being managed for about 30 years. The owners main objectives are habitat management and providing a sustainable supply of woodfuel for their home and two holiday lets Wonhan Oak. The site is dominated by an old Limestone quarry that closed circa 1910. It is stocked with plently of Ash, Willow, Hazel, Oak and some Beech. Dormice are known to be in the local area and the Hazel in the wood does produce large quantities of nuts each year. There are numerous old hedgerows providing wildlife corridors that link the woodland with other areas. The site is a promising one for installing some Dormouse nesting boxes, especially in conjunction with the coppice restoration work.