Fabulous flora at Quarry Bank and Styal

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  • In winter the interesting shapes of our ancient and veteran trees are revealed. They are home to families of invertebrates, birds and bats.
  • We have large beech trees which are dominant in the landscape; one of the oldest is easy to spot at the top of the garden with a circumference of over five and a half metres. As well as this, a handful of silver birch and rowan trees can be classed as ancient in the area; they don’t usually live long in comparison to other trees.
  • Scattered occasionally in the northern and western woods are several exotic trees species, red cedars and redwoods which are thought to have been planted by the Greg family to enhance their “pleasure garden”.


  • Over 700 species of fungi have been recorded at Styal. They look after the woodland ecosystem by recycling nutrients. Examples with fruit on show in autumn include delicate species of bonnet; honey fungus which gets its name from its golden colour; and earthballs, which need a drop of water to land on them for their spores to puff out of the top like dust.
  • Fruiting bodies of bracket fungus such as Ganodermas reside on trees all year long. A common Ganoderma species is known as artist’s bracket as they can be used to draw on; no pen needed! And if you are looking to do some drawing elsewhere, inkcap species produce a black liquid to hold their spores which can be used as ink.


  • During spring the floor of the woodland fills with the familiar carpets of bluebells and delicate white wood anemone flowers.
  • The damp woodland holds a contrasting assortment of flowers, including marsh marigold, opposite-leaved golden saxifrage and giant bellflower.
  • What's more, certain compartments of the woods hold flora which are indicators of ancient woodland; orchid broad-leaved helleborine, wood sorrel, dog's mercury and ramsons. The latter has a strong smell of garlic, giving it its more common name wild garlic.