Saturday, 24 August 2013

Avon Wildlife Safari Day 37 - Ancient woodlands, streams and new plantations....

Priors Wood is most famous for it's amazing bluebells in the Springtime but in the summertime spotted flycatchers can be found in the natural glades, catching insects on the wing.

Spotted flycatcher adult, with fly in beak on lookout perch near nest
 photo:spotted flycatcher -
Toothwort - Wikipedia
Prior’s Wood was once part of the great Tyntesfield Estate near Wraxall which is now owned by the National Trust, timber from the woodland was processed in the saw mills of the estate. This woodland now has some wonderful ancient trees with fine specimens of wych elm, small-leaved lime and oak. Herb paris, a rare ancient woodland indicator can also be found growing on the woodland floor. It's also home to Toothwort, a plant that is parasitic on the roots of hazel and alder, however the only parts that appear above ground are the flower bearing shoots from April - May so it will be too late to see them now.

While you are there though, look out for Brimstone butterflies along the woodland rides and in the sunny clearings and listen out for the distinctive call of a buzzard gliding on the thermals up above you.

Before you go download our woodland trail resources which are full of ideas to explore the woodland using your senses, such as 'meeting a tree' or 'building a nest' and when you get home you could make your own woodland food chain mobile to hang up and remind you of your fun day out.

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