Ahead is a single small specimen of alder Alnus
glutinosa. Alders love
wet places, although they can tolerate drier locations and are often
planted as street trees. They bear characteristic dark fruits that
resemble pine cones.
To the left is a copse of aspen Populus
tremula. The leaves, borne on
long flattened stalks, quiver in the slightest breeze. Aspen trees
sucker prolifically, and you can see many sapling-like shoots in the
grass to the right of the path growing from the roots of the trees.
Without its annual mowing the open grassland would rapidly become aspen
scrub. Turn left and follow the well trodden path. This is a good place
to see butterflies including the comma and speckled wood (see
gatekeeper, common blue and small copper.
At the edge of the woodland
note the small trees of goat willow Salix
caprea on the right. This
bears yellow catkins in early spring and attracts many insects that
have just emerged from hibernation and are seeking nectar. The path
curves right, entering woodland to reach post 3.
Comma on water mint by Dave Watson.
Image: Speckled Wood by Marian Sartin
description for post 3
here to learn more about the Harrow Nature Conservation Forum including
guided walks and conservation workdays.