Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Coppice developing

The part of Killingan wood that was coppiced less than 18 months ago is already rapidly scrubbing over with brambles.  There is less and less bare earth and moss left and smaller plants are rapidly being suppressed.  This is not quite what coppice is supposed to do: if violet-feeding fritillary caterpillars were to flourish, for example, the ground would have to remain open for far longer.

20100614 Killingan Wood coppice 034

It is interesting to speculate whether this used to happen in the past or in different types of coppice rotation.  In terms of forestry it seems to me that the brambles are quite important as they give some protection to the new shoots rising from the tree stools.

The flora continues to provide interest and I some of the most striking are shown below:

20100614 Killingan bittersweet 027

Bittersweet or woody nightshade (Solanum dulcamara)

20100614 Killingan foxgloves 029

Wild foxgloves (Digitalis purpurea) among the brambles.

20100614 Killingan foxgloves 030

And some cultivar foxgloves at the woodland edge that must have escaped from a garden.

20100614 Killingan marsh thistle 024

Marsh thistle (Cirsium palustre), what the gardeners call an 'architectural plant'.

20100614 Killingan Veronica officinalis 033

Heath speedwell (Veronica officinalis), a low-growing plant of poor, dry soils.

20100614 Killingan ox-eye daisies 023

And ox-eye daisy or marguerite (Leucanthemum vulgare), a plant of meadows and waysides, but quite happy here at the woodland edge.

20100614 Killingan ox-eye daisies 028

No comments: