Wednesday 25 April 2018

Wood Anemone and Wood Sorrel

Wood anemone and wood sorrel are two of our loveliest Spring flowers and they're both looking particularly beautiful in Colinton and Craiglockart Dells along the Water of Leith.

wood anemone

wood sorrel 

 Both species are also both indicators of ancient woodland. This means that where these flowers grow naturally is likely to have been continuously wooded since 1600 (in England, Wales or Northern Ireland) or since 1750 in Scotland. That the area has been continuously wooded for that length of time doesn't mean that all (or even most) of the trees are that age, nor does it in fact mean that the woodland is entirely natural - the Dells include significant numbers of trees that were planted as ornamental species by the old Estates that used to own the land and a fair number of hornbeams that were planted as their wood was used in the many mills that used to line the river. Ancient woodland though is always a precious habitat, full of species of flowers, fungi and lower plants that aren't found elsewhere. It's also a habitat that is under constant threat from inappropriate development for holiday homes or golf courses and the like.

The UK Government recently took the welcome step of strengthening the protection given to ancient woodland in England in the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF). It’s a change that should make a lasting difference for England’s last remaining ancient woodland. Unfortunately at the same time the status of individual ancient trees has been downgraded. This seems illogical and is certainly not helpful. You can find out more here and add your voice to the Woodland Trust campaign to give equal protection to ancient woodland and individual ancient trees.


Sandy said...

I am familiar with both of these plants. We are having such a cool spring I am wondering if the woodland flowers are out yet. Thanks for posting your photos from the woods.

Lowcarb team member said...

They are beautiful plants ...

All the best Jan