Please see the photo gallery above for some of our April/May highlights.
In order of display:
'Fiddlehead' ferns - new fronds unfurling
Common Dog Violet
Oak leaves bathed in sunshine
Clouded Drab moth (photography by Jonathan Wallace)
Newly emerging Lime leaves
Main Ride in evening sun
Carrying logs down Main Ride
Male Pheasant and Roe Deer
Woodruff Wood Work
With everywhere being so wet at the start of last month, it was no surprise that our ditch system was filled to the brim and overflowing. A blockage in the outflow pipe didn't help matters, but once it was cleared of debris, levels soon dropped and the wood is now drying out to some extent. We had to pull off the section of wood where we were working as the ground was just too muddy and we are always worrying about causing damage to the ground flora (which is now beginning to appear). Plan B had to come into effect with us moving to a raised area alongside Main Ride to carry out further long-term improvements. Part and parcel of working outdoors involves being flexible in order to cope with the erratic nature of our climate.
After what seems like a very slow start to spring, the wood is finally greening up. The grasses are growing, the leaves are opening and the ferns are unfurling. The number of different shades of green is really quite something and their blended combination is a match made in heaven. Each day seems to be better than the last throughout May as everything bursts into life.
Here is a pick of our favourite things:
The ferns are currently at their ‘fiddlehead’ stage. This is the most wonderfully accurate description - newly emerging ferns unfurling their fronds – and looking remarkably like violin or fiddle heads. They will continue to rise from the ground throughout the month, each one becoming taller and opening out to reveal its full architectural beauty. Woodruff Wood is filled with ferns which dominate the ground layer in parts and give the place a real prehistoric feeling of times gone by. You'd half expect a dinosaur to walk past!
We are in the midst of this season's crop of new leaves bursting open from the tree buds – and we are mesmerized more than ever by this most glorious annual event. The speed at which the leaves grow, the details when viewed close up, the array of colours, the way in which each tightly packed leaf manages to fit inside each bud – it really is nature at its best, yet it is something which most of us take for granted. We hope you will appreciate them just a little bit more by looking at the images below:
Sunlight on Trees
There is a further added dimension to the beauty of the leaves when the sun is shining and the light illuminates all the different shades of green making some appear a wonderful golden colour whilst others dazzle brightly. Evening sunshine is our favourite light when, in our opinion, the trees lining the woodland rides are displayed at their best.
A Splash of Colour
Although there is an explosion of green radiating throughout Woodruff Wood, May is also the best time for woodland flowers. Every day sees splashes of colour appearing amongst the ferns, leaves and foliage. Beautiful blues from common dog violets and bugles coexist alongside the subtle whites and pinks of sweet woodruff and wood sorrels.
Oh, and there really is the odd advantage of having a wet woodland – the yellow marsh marigolds in our seasonal pond are just stunning right now.
It really is the best month of the year to be in an English woodland!
Woodruff Wood,Longhirst, Morpeth, Northumberland
'Passionate about wildlife & firewood'
T: 07525 841361 (9am - 6pm)
Please feel free to contact us today for further information!
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European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development
'Increasing Productivity of Woodruff Wood Woodfuel (Firewood)'
Woodruff Wood is grateful to have received funding for equipment and infrastructure to support us in the production of firewood