5 May 2013

Spring / Summer in the Woods

Late spring early summer at Eastham Woods is a very special time. It is the time when many of the wild flowers that thrive in the ancient woodland come into flower. For about eight weeks, between late March and mid May, Just before the trees burst into leaf and shade out the woodland floor.
This is the time when we see some of the most spectacular displays of wild flowers:  flowers such as Daffodils (though to find wild native daffodils these days is becoming quite rare)  lesser Celandine and Snow Drops which can be seen quite early on in Spring, but it is the Blue Bells and the Wood Anemone that  create the wow factor as we
stroll through the woodland.

Eastham Woods is one of the last remaining ancient woodlands left on the Wirral, but there was a time when most of the peninsular would have been developed as a woodland for Aristocrats. Men such as Hugh Lupus who was a Councillor to William The Conqueror, who made him
1st Earl of Chester. The woodlands would have been ideal places to hunt Deer or Wild Boar. They are just as important to us today as they were to the previous generations. In fact they are probably more important today in an age of heavy industry and mass house building as they act a a lung, filtering the very air that we breath.

Now is the time when we see Cowslip emerging through last years leaf litter to add a touch of freshness to the decaying matter carpeting the woodland floor.  Twenty years ago, Cowslip were almost extinct in these parts, but due to Chemical free areas such as Eastham Country Park and also due to some sympathetic farmers and land owners and with the help from organisations like the Merseyside BioBank many of our native wild flowers are enjoying a come back.

Also while you are in the woodland keep an eye open to see if you can spot the delicate pale yellow Primrose, but you will have to be quick because by the end of April it will be gone ....for another year.