Wildflowers in the Wood

On the first and third Sundays of the month, The London Wildlife Trust hold volunteer workdays at Sydenham Hill Wood.  I’ve volunteered with the wildlife trust for around 2 years now and try to go to these workdays as often as I can!

This workday started with a wildflower ID training session. Now, I will be the first to admit that my knowledge of British flora is severely lacking and I was very much looking forward to learning more. So, armed with my trusty (*ahem* not used before today) wildflower ID book, off we went into the wood.

Time for a challenge!

Below are a few photos of some of the plants we ID’d today, can you name them? Bonus points for the species name! (Answers at the bottom of the page)

Wood Avens Yellow Iris Bittersweet Nightshade Dog Rose Ground ElderCommon Ragwort

Wildflower ID well and truly covered, we moved onto a more pressing task. A  branch in an area closed off to members of public had fallen, creating an enticing crossing point over a pond onto a small island. This was encouraging people to climb a fence and cross the pond, trampling wildflowers and other vegetation in the process.

Areas sectioned off from members of the public are vitally important in woodland management as they enable plants to seed and grow and allow regrowth without unnecessary disturbance.  In short, if you visit woodland and an area is fenced off, please remember that this is likely with good reason and just stick to the marked pathways.

The rest of the afternoon was spent chopping up the (surprising large) fallen branches before throwing them back into the pond – we didn’t want to remove the mini ecosystems beginning to grow on the logs, just the ability to cross the pond without wading through the murky water.

Branches chopped and wildflowers ID’d – it was onto a tree walk in Dulwich Park, ran by the previous volunteer coordinator for Sydenham Hill wood. I’ve been on a few tree walks now and it never fails to amaze me as to how good the turn out is – people just love learning about trees it seems!

And on that note, I will leave you with a couple of today’s wildlife finds, including a (queen) hornet and a stock dove nest in a tree hollow.

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Answers from the wildflower ID quiz

  1. Wood Avens (Top left)
  2. Yellow Iris
  3. Bittersweet Nightshade
  4. Dog Rose 
  5. Ground Elder 
  6. Common Ragwort

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