In the warm dry early Spring it has been wonderful to experience the beauty of Hagg
Wood. The beautiful displays of bluebells and other wildflowers have rewarded our
sustained efforts over many past years on our Woodland Working Parties to cut back
large areas of brambles, and to promote good growing conditions along the rides
and ditch margins by removing invasive vegetation. I’m sure there have been more
primroses than ever before, and they have made a wonderful display this year.
Birdsong also seemed to be increasing with even more willow warblers, blackcaps
and chiffchaffs. Suddenly then the cold wet weather of late April arrived and Spring
was knocked back on its heels for a while. The northerly winds have delayed
migration and caused losses amongst the early nesters. I monitor the arrival of our
house-martins and it’s now ten days later than their arrival last year and still no sign.
We are currently considering our plans for the future. We want to restart our
Woodland Working Parties and will have to design procedures which reflect the
Covid situation. We are also limited by the equipment we can get into the wood with
restricted access, so bramble growth may in future steadily increase and compete
with wildflower displays. Forestry England will be drawing up its new Forest Design
Plan 2022 for Hagg Wood and we will ensure that our own work plans are fed into
this plan and the development of the wood, including protecting the wonderful
special areas we have ourselves initiated and worked towards improving over many
years, such as the Breathing Places area, the Crater area, the Jubilee wood and large
parts of the Bluebell area which were previously under brambles.
For all those who care about our woodlands we can recommend the new report
published by the Woodland Trust, that is entitled “State of the UK’s Woods and
Trees 2021”. It stresses the importance of looking after our existing Ancient
Woodlands, as well as planting new trees elsewhere. Hagg Wood has many
wildflowers which are Ancient Woodland Indicator species, confirming the
importance of continuing to look after it well for all to enjoy in the future.
There is so much to enjoy in Hagg Wood, whatever the season or weather. You are welcome to join us if you would like to help ensure that the local community can enjoy Hagg Wood as much in the future as it has in the past before the path blockage from Intake Lane. If so, do get in touch with us via https://haggwood.wordpress.com/contact/ or through our website http://www.fohw.org.uk
Please note that this FHW Blog does not seek to represent the view of the Grapevine Parish Magazine, and we apologise if anyone previously thought that it did represent them.