Please see the photo gallery above for some of our May/June highlights.
In order of display:
Woodruff in flower under a Wych Elm
Male Orange-tip butterfly on Garlic Mustard
White Ermine moth (photography by Jonathan Wallace)
Hawthorn in full blossom
Willow and Iris in Wet Wood
Fresh Oak leaves in sunlight
Large Red Damselfly
It is just glorious in the wood right now! It is filled with life, colour and for the most part, sunshine. It is a pleasure to turn up for work each day and we are thoroughly enjoying being immersed in woodland life at what is our favourite time of the year.
Flora and fauna surrounds us in abundance now that the weather has picked up. Heading into June, woodland flowers are in full bloom, adult birds are hard at work raising their young and there is a permanent background hum of thousands of insects.
There is just so much happening at present - we hope that this pick of seasonal highlights brings you a flavour of spring merging into summer:
Roe deer love eating bluebells. This iconic woodland flower is a favourite of theirs and what few we have are munched by the deer every year and usually fail to bloom. This year we've taken action – all known clumps of bluebells have been protected with a circle of wire mesh. Whilst it may not be the most attractive of solutions, this protection is working and we have enjoyed by far and away the largest number of bluebells flowering since we've been at Woodruff Wood. It's still not many, but it's a start!
Staying on the subject of roe deer, they have been looking rather scruffy of late! Fleeting glimpses from a distance along with images on our wildlife camera, show their coats to be patchy in appearance as they moult out of their winter coat into their summer one. In the photo below, this roe buck’s lovely chestnut red summer coat is just starting to show on his head, neck and shoulder. In coming weeks, he will no doubt look resplendent once his moult is complete.
Orange-tips And Garlic Mustard
Female orange-tip butterflies lay their eggs on garlic mustard and cuckooflowers. Whilst we do not have any of the latter in the wood, we do have an abundance of garlic mustard by our gateway and females are tucked away amongst its foliage going about their business. As females tend to lie low (occasionally rising into sight when being pestered by the boys!), they lack the bright orange wingtips of the males for camouflage purposes.
The boys on the other hand, are show-offs and this year record numbers are fluttering about flashing their orange wingtips searching for girls. We think that possibly due to the cold start to spring, the orange-tips have all emerged at the same time in May instead of being staggered over a few weeks from April onwards. This is a good strategy for survival. The flowering of garlic mustard was late this year and it needs to be in sync with the orange-tips laying their eggs in order for the caterpillars to feed on the plant.
So perhaps, numbers are not any higher than usual, it's just that they are all on the wing at the same time?
We are now at the start of June and the hawthorn blossom is at its best. It also was late to flower after such a cold April, but it is now flourishing. As hoped for, the hawthorns lining Main Ride are benefiting from the extra sunlight pouring in since it's been widened. Coppiced hawthorns are growing strongly whilst previously stifled specimens are improving in shape and appearance week by week. They truly are....well, blossoming!
Our moth expert Jonathan has been checking out the moths in the wood most weeks throughout spring. Numbers are slightly on the low side – he thinks possibly due to the cold nights along with a natural dip in moths out flying during May. However, Jonathan continues to find new species to add to his list including this beautiful looking scarce prominent.
We leave you this month with a typical image of Woodruff Wood at this time of year – a carpet of flowers. Enjoy!
Woodruff Wood,Longhirst, Morpeth, Northumberland
'Passionate about wildlife & firewood'
T: 07525 841361 (9am - 6pm)
Please feel free to contact us today for further information!
Why not add some kindling & firelighters to your firewood order?
Our recommendations are:
Sign up to our newsletter to receive all the latest Woodruff Wood news and offers
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