Early spring in west Kent woodlands

The hornbeam woodlands on the North Downs are at their best; carpeted with a white blanket of wood anemones. A perfect example locally is on the rolling hills above Eynsford. The anemones are a near monoculture but the dark green bluebell leaves are emerging and the swathe of deep blue flowers will take over inContinue reading “Early spring in west Kent woodlands”

Chalkhurst and Hartnips Woods

Above the village of Eynsford across a wide fallow field freshly sprayed with herbicide, sits a long strip of broadleaved woodland.  Under a blue sky, a single swallow flies across the field calling. A slow worm rests under an old piece of matting and brimstones work the dandelions in the floristically dull field margin; aContinue reading “Chalkhurst and Hartnips Woods”

Cobham Wood and Darnley Mausoleum

October 9th A father and son are up in a walnut tree wobbling and stretching, chasing a rich harvest of green nuts. A little owl calls from a huge oak and two kestrels hang about. We walk up the track to the ancient woodland that is still not autumn gold but remains stubborn green andContinue reading “Cobham Wood and Darnley Mausoleum”

Hilly Wood

An erudite local botany blog tells of a wood full of brilliant yellow, cyclamen-flowered daffodils Narcissus cyclamineus. Now is the time to visit and so we head for Hilly Wood near Cranbrook. N. cyclamineus is an introduced and naturalised species from northwest Spain and northern Portugal, where five daffodil species are endemic, according to a local nature conservation NGO from Galicia. TheContinue reading “Hilly Wood”

Rumija’s Chestnut Woodlands

Soon after the narrow road from Virpazar to Ostros passes the turn for the small village of Livari, the scraggy oak-hornbeam gives way to a woodland of huge, sweet chestnut (Castanea sativa) trees that straddles the road. These are ancient, venerable trees with thick, deeply riven trunks and decaying crowns. On walking around, some seem to beContinue reading “Rumija’s Chestnut Woodlands”