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Saturday, 5 May 2012

"Into the Woods Week"coming up!


The bluebells are just at their incredible blue-est at the moment in Elland Park Wood. I am leading a walk there on Saturday 12th May. Meet 1.30pm.

There are wide glades of solid blue in places, and the swathes of them go on right through the wood. Gordon Yates, the well-known photographer and film-maker, has called it "one of the finest bluebell woods in the North of England".

The walk is a Halifax Scientific Society monthly ramble, in conjunction with a Countryside Service Wildside Walk for "Into the Woods Week". All are welcome, and no need to be put off by our name; we are the local natural history society and all our walks are open to the public. No snobbery about knowledge or experience. We all had to start from the beginning. No charge and no packed lunch necessary. (Though a small donation to HSS would be gratefully received by our Treasurer.)

Meet at the bottom of Plains Lane, just on from the the Barge and Barrel Pub towards Brighouse. Meet 1.30 for a 1.45 start. It will be a 2 to 3 hour walk. The paths can be muddy and steep in one or two places. I find a stick or pole useful. We will go right through the wood and return via the canal towpath to Plains Lane.  MAP.

I saw a pair of Treecreepers in the wood today, with the female building her nest behind some loose bark.  Other birds that have been seen this year include Lesser Spotted Woodpecker and up to four Buzzards soaring together!

2 comments:

Steve Blacksmith said...

The walk was well attended by 26 people including 2 children, who all seemed to enjoy it.

The bluebells were still as good as 8 days ago. The warmth of the sun and a slight breeze brought wafts of their perfume to us.

We didn't get to see the treescreeper nesting. She will be sitting on eggs now. We did hear and see a nuthatch and a buzzard.

The walkers were interested to learn about the bell-pot craters from ancient coal digging, and the colonisation by understorey hollies which has happened in my lifetime. (The hollies may have been exterminated in the distant past for winter fodder for farm animals. They like it if it bashed about before feeding to them.)

A less than pleasant sight was a felled oak. It had been about 3 ft diameter and had recently lost its top. If this was done for health and safety reasons I think it was misguided decision. It had been one of the biggest, if not the biggest, trunk in the wood. Even as a decaying tree, in fact especially as a decaying tree, it had immense wildlife value, much reduced by it lying in pieces on the ground.

Steve Blacksmith said...

I meant the holly was bashed!
Not the animals! :-)