“Shed not a clout till may be out…”

It’s not, as many believe, an instruction to keep your coat on until June; it’s telling you to take your cardigan off as soon as the may is in blossom, which has been known to happen as early as April.

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Always among the year’s first flowers in the reserve are the hazel catkins in the copse near the picnic place. They are a familiar and friendly sign that spring is on its way.

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What happened to Oak 5552?

Sometimes, healthy and mature trees shed large branches during the summer for no apparent reason. This is what is known as Summer Branch Drop Syndrome and it is what happened to Oak 5552 in August of this year.

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Wednesday work party

by Ian Bushell

The weather was again kind to the working party: dry but not too hot.  Another good turn out, just missing Sarah and Alan who are on holiday. 

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Oak trees produce thousands of acorns every year. Somebody has worked out that an oak tree can produce ten million acorns over its lifetime. In a good year, they carpet the ground under the tree.

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Talking to Trees

by David Feather

“I talk to the trees, but they don’t listen to me.” This was part of a lyric to a song some of our older nature reserve walkers will remember. Well, there is a possibility that the lyric writer might have been mistaken.

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Pussy willow

A goat willow’s flowers, or catkins, known as pussy willow because they look like furry grey kittens’ paws, appear in February, one of the earliest signs of spring in the park.

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It had been assumed that a warming climate would lead to a longer growing season for our deciduous trees, followed by a later autumnal leaf-fall. However, research has indicated that this might not be so.

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