Monday, 12 October 2015

The beauty of ancient woodland and a date for your diary

As many readers of this blog know, I regularly volunteer with the Water of Leith Conservation Trust. Colinton Dell, the area which I help to look after is a beautiful area of woodland, defined as ancient woodland as it has been continuously wooded since 1750 (this is the Scottish date for ancient woodland, the date is different in England and Wales). This doesn't mean that the whole area is made up of native woodland dating back that far, in fact a lot of hornbeams (non-native to Scotland but native to the south of England) were planted when the area was full of mills (the hornbeam wood is very hard, ideal for construction of mill parts). However this has been mostly woodland since 1750 and the areas where the mills once stood have mostly been reclaimed by nature.

A beautiful autumn day like today is one of the best times to appreciate the beauty of ancient woodland:

The bridge over the Water of Leith at Colinton Weir

a bench on the Water of Leith Walkway above Colinton Weir

the underside of a harts tongue fern showing the spores

fallen fruit from a lime (linden) tree

contrasting autumnal colours by the bridge in Colinton Village

fallen leaves on a mossy wall by the river

an ivy flower - this ivy bush was in fact covered with insects - a few hoverflies, common wasps and a red admiral butterfly, none of which allowed me to take photos!

a yet to be identified fungus growing in the grassy area near the old Bogs Mill.

Recent research has shown that Scotland's ancient woodlands are generally not in great condition, so the Woodland Trust has set up a campaign to save them. You can see their infographic that highlights the problems here and you can read more about the background to the campaign and how to get involved here.

Woodland is not only a beautiful place to spend time and a valuable habitat for wildlife, but it also offers solutions to the problems caused by climate change, including flood management and reducing the temperature of urban areas. Climate change is also the biggest long term threat to ancient woodland. Therefore the Woodland Trust is joining the People's March for the Climate on 28 November (Edinburgh and Cardiff) and 29 November (London and Belfast). You can find out more and add your name to the list here.


Lowcarb team member said...

Such a lovely post, and the photo's are so good to look at too.
We must do our best to protect the Woodland, it has been around for many years, and I sincerely hope many, many more.

All the best Jan

eileeninmd said...

Lovely images from the woodland. I like the fern and the mushroom, lovely images. Have a happy week!

RG said...

Thanks for the reminder about great places - and the pictures.

What would be slick - on that infographic - is add a third column that succinctly tells a member of the general public what they can do to help! (You can tell them I said so! - oh wait - maybe I should.)

Pietro Brosio said...

So beautiful the image of the "fallen leaves on a mossy wall by the river"!

Sally said...

Hi Rabbits' Guy, members of the public can help Scotland's woods by emailing their MSP asking them to stand up for Scotland's native woods and apply pressure on government to implement the key recommendations. Take part in the campaign here:

You can also help by sharing it with your friends and encouraging them to take part too.

Anonymous said...

what beautiful images Juliet! :)