Wood anemone

There are wood anemones (Anemone nemorosa) in the copse between Sheep Field and Sleepers, and under oak 5552 in the corner by the central path..

Wood anemones are related to buttercups, members of the Ranunculaceae family. They flower between March and May, in broadleaved woodland, before the canopy becomes too dense for the sunlight to reach the floor. They are one of the small bright wildflowers that announce the spring (despite the snow!)

It is a species indicative of ancient woodland. Its seeds are mostly infertile so it spreads very slowly; its rhizomes covering little more than a couple of metres in a hundred years. A woodland floor covered with anemones is centuries old.

The oaks in this corner of the reserve are old pollards, trees that in the past were harvested for long straight posts for fencing, and beams for building. The anemones tell us that this area was set aside from the agricultural management of the fields long ago. Despite its name, Sheep Field, this area has not been closely grazed or ploughed for centuries.

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  1. This information about the wood anemones and their place in the history of the park is really interesting. Thank you!

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