Midsummer is upon us and I commence this article with sweaters and warm clothes on. However May was hot and very dry, June was cooler and quite wet and July has started cool, wet and windy. How have the variations affected the wood? The trees are laden with leaves, the undergrowth is abundant and high and woodland flowers are in full bloom throughout. Some of the more open spaces are filled with purple or white foxgloves coming into bloom. I am sorry that I do not know the names of the many flowers that are in the wood, but even not knowing their names they are a joy to see. The sharp eyed visitor to the wood may even spot the small clump of orchids that has been a summer flower for at least the past four years. The increasing number of flowers is in some part due to the efforts of the monthly working parties in keeping the invasive plants in check.
The foliage on the trees does make it difficult to see much birdlife, but judging by the amount of singing and chirping there is a good population of birds. In August, many of the birds will be starting their moult in preparation for their southerly migrations, or taking a break after rearing their latest brood. Then the singing will diminish in volume.
In a recent visit it appears that fires have been lit, possibly for picnics or similar. However no such fires are allowed in Hagg Wood as fires pose a real risk to the wood, especially if we have another dry spell, with the amount of undergrowth there is. Enjoying the countryside also means taking care of it!
There is still time if you have been inconvenienced by the recent path blockage from Intake Lane, to let us know, with details about how important this access path into the wood is to you, and how long you have been using the wood, via our website https://haggwood.wordpress.com/contact/ or by writing to FHW, 5 Church Lane, Dunnington, YO19 5PT. Further details of our activities to help everyone enjoy the wood can be found on our website http://www.fohw.org.uk
Further afield, we are pleased to announce the recent birth of a third baby beaver in Cropton Forest, following their re-introduction last April (see https://www.forestryengland.uk/news/baby-beaver-born-cropton-forest-north-yorkshire).