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Saturday, 4 February 2017

One sunny afternoon in Todmorden

I saw 7 Roe deer today in woodland only a few minutes from the centre of Todmorden. Ivy is the main preferred food source in winter and this photo shows a stone stoop, which only a few weeks ago was covered in bushy Ivy right to the ground.

You can now see it is eaten away to a definite browse line. Roe seem to be very lazy browsers and don't make much effort above nose level.

                                              Ivy browse-line

Nearby was a good number of Scarlet Elf Cup, Sarcoscypha austriaca. In fact I haven't seen as many in one place before (there were many others nearby) and all are on decaying Sycamore branches.

Scarlet Elf Cup
For an attractive winter grass, Miscanthus sinensis is lovely with its old seed heads. It is very hardy and needs no managing. It is a good substitute for Common Reed, which does not flower in Todmorden. Originally from Eastern Asia.
Miscanthus sinensis


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. All very interesting Philip. Common Reed not flowering at Todmorden is a surprise; it's not that much higher than Halifax. The Miscanthus is very attractive, is that the one that's also grown for bio-fuel, aka Elephant Grass ? Nice to see you at the Tree Strategy morning.

    5 February 2017 at 19:47 Delete

  3. Sorry I didn't get the time to talk with you both at the tree meeting.

    Perhaps Todmorden is not as sunny as Halifax but I find Common Reed runs out of season (it is an Autumn flowering grass). A good season will find a wisp of flower will emerge but never opens or ripens seed.

    Bio-fuel Elephant grass is M. giganteus and never flowers in this country. I have both species and they are reliable growers and need no management.