Monday, 21 July 2014

Whistley Wood: native woodland bouncing back

A short stop off at Whistley Wood near Brackley, Northamptonshire, on my way back to Banbury.  In recent years enlightened management by the Forestry Commission, who manage the wood, has enabled large areas of former conifer plantation restored to native woodland.  The woodland rides are also well managed by regular mowing and support a good variety of plants, they in turn attracting many butterflies.  It easy an easy place to visit with good roadside parking off the B4525 and a network of woodland rides to explore.
The sun is shining and it is a warm afternoon - should be good for butterflies.  And it is, but no hoped-for white admirals, their flight period may be over at this site or the population is low this year.  I saw several here in July 2006, then just a few days later, saw one fly through the garden in Upper Wardington.  These are my only white admiral sightings in our area to date.
great willowherb - profusion along the rides

a few white-flowered great willow herb are mixed in with the pink
rosebay willowherb
large skipper - king of a "rosebay willowherb castle"

brimstone butterflies gathered around a clump of betony flowers

cobnuts forming on hazel coppice

tufted vetch
A roadside "woodland for sale" sign prompts me to investigate.  Turns out 14.4 acres are for sale at £98,000.  This woodland is immediately adjacent to Whistley Wood and part of the larger ancient Shortgrove Wood.
white admiral at Whistley Woods, 15 July 2006

No comments:

Post a Comment