Spring Diary 6 – On Rickwood’s Bank
As the site manager at Fingle Woods, Dave Rickwood has worked on one area of the valley to demonstrate how the patches of dark and shady conifers can be transformed into a sunlit haven for invertebrates. Only two years ago the area increasingly known as “Rickwood’s Bank” along the main riverside track was dominated by dense Douglas fir, casting shade onto the ground and inhibiting the growth of wild flowers. Now many of the trees have gone, leaving the remnants of broadleaves, the forest floor has burst into life. It’s a bright carpet of green and, though the foxgloves are instantly visible, a closer inspection reveals a world of ancient woodland ground flora. Violets, bluebells, wood rush, wood sage, wood sorrel, celandine, wild daffodil and St John’s wort are among the many ancient woodland indicator plants that have been waiting for a drop of golden sun. Look out for pollinating insects here during the summer.
Words – Matt Parkins
Images – Paul Moody