Saturday, December 22, 2007

Hargate Forest near Tunbridge Wells

On 20 December I walked in the frost in Hargate Forest south east of Tunbridge Wells. It is an extensive area of pine, broad-leaved wood and heath with some valley mires, streams and a gill. Well worth a visit at any time of year and free access as it belongs to the Woodland Trust.

The top picture is of a place called 'Butterfly Corner' as grizzled and dingy skippers are found here (in warmer weather).

The moss is blunt-leaved bog moss (Sphagnum palustre), very distinctive in winter due to its dark antheridia like the central boss of a flower. It is one of commonest bog-mosses in the Weald, but less and less of the wet woodland habitat it likes.

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