Springtime Woodland – 1 – Early Spring

After the long winter and as the days start to lengthen the woodland starts to renew with the first signs of new growth. The images here were all captured in Swithland Wood in Leicestershire in the UK. As with all woods it has it’s own unique characteristics. It is recognised as a site of special scientific interest.

Many of the buds on the trees are visisble throughout the winter but the emergence of the new leaves is a joy.

Another early apperance in the woodland are these hazel catkins. They are in fact flowers but without petals.

Of course the mosses seem to thrive thought the winter. A close inspection in spring will show some clesr new growth.

The most noticeable new comers in the spring are the low growing woddland flowers. They are successful at this time of year becuase they don’t have to compete with a heavy tree canopy which block the sunlight. They are also vital in supporting early bees, butterflies and moths. The purple flower is an early dog violet. The yellow flowers are Lesser Celandine.

There is a section of Swithland Wood called Stocking Wood where some species are very prolific. In late March and April the whole floor is covered in these Wood Anemonies.

Another vital element to the ecology of the woodland are the pollen bearing trees. Here is the fabulous Hawthorn Blossom.

My next blog will be when the Bluebells are fully out.