Oliver Rackham’s home county provided the original inspiration for his lifeling study on Woodlands and elucidation of the history of the British Countryside. The county has some very fine patches of Ancient Woodland and we’ll spend the morning exploring one of the best.
Arriving through lanes shaded with high green hedgerows we’ll walk through a woodland that has been coppiced since the 1300s. Some of the old Hazel Coppice stools are magnificent. The flora is too with, in late April, a forest floor stuffed full of Wood Anemone, Woodruff and so many Oxlips. Dotted amongst this fine show are the spikes of Early Purple Orchid and the twinned leaves of Twayblade.
Just a few miles away lie some wonderful meadows that have survived without spraying, draining, fertilizing or ploughing. We’ll spend the afternoon at two of these. Snake’s Head Fritillaries make a truly fabulous show and other floral highlights at the same season will be Ragged Robin, Goldilocks Buttercup, Early Purple Orchid and hopefully the first flowers of lovely little Green-winged Orchid.
Flowers, Woods & Meadows