Winter in the woodland
A woodland’s secrets are revealed in winter when trees are stripped of foliage. Lead Ranger, Chloe Bradbrooke, recommends what to look out for in the woodland this winter.
Colourful winter woodland
Bright sunny days allow focus on the more subtle elements of the woodland: the lichens, ferns and berry dotted evergreens. Your eyes are drawn, not to bright coloured flowers, but by the gentler hues of barks, the smooth grey beech, blushing pink birch and, here at Nymans, the rich rust colours of redwood glowing in the low winter sun.
Winter is a great time for playing nature detective. Bare branches make spying birds easier and mud and snow are ideal for following animal tracks. Pellets and droppings are fun clues for identifying the local wildlife. A close inspection of wood bark may reveal broken nuts shells trapped in crevices by nut hatches and mosses enjoying the rivulets of moisture provided by the fissures.
Also exposed are secrets of a different kind; the history of an industrious past and even a catastrophic event. Frosted edges reveal contours in the landscape highlighting old banks, ditches and boundaries and the dips and hollows of old quarries and saw pits.
The effects of the 1987 Great Storm - so dramatic and catastrophic at the time – can still be seen. Huge uprooted trees have left a tangle of vertical root plates exposed. Washed over with soil during years of rain, wind and snow these have formed natural sculptures hung with mosses. In spring these are covered with primroses.
Enjoy walking in the woodland this winter and keep up to date with our news on our Facebook and Twitter pages: NymansNT.