To say that pollination plays an important part in the world would be putting it mildly. With one in every three mouthfuls of our food depending on pollination taking place, the fact of the matter is that it performs an absolutely crucial role in our very existence, but the countless members of the insect army that ensure it continues are fighting a very real battle for survival.
One of the many surveys we’re undertaking this year is for the Eurasian woodcock (Scolopax rusticola), an elusive and characterful wading bird that had previously been spotted on numerous occasions in the Forest.
We focus on the unassuming elder, which despite maintaining a low profile throughout much of the year, bursts into life in spring and fills the Forest with a glorious display of white flowers.
There are few sights guaranteed to make the heart sing more sweetly than a vibrant blanket of bluebells stretching across a woodland floor.
It is perhaps understandable that the blackthorn has such a mixed reputation, as its face changes markedly throughout the year. As spring approaches, the blackthorn’s branches are briefly swathed in a dense covering of the most vibrant white blossom, giving it a joyous and benevolent facade. The winter sees its leaves turn yellow and fall off, leaving a stark and twisted black skeleton exposed.