Stanmore Common Nature Trail

Short trail post 2: From here you can see two mature oaks. You passed one a few yards back up the ride, and there is one a few yards further down the ride to your right. These two oaks grew while the land was open meadow and contrast with all the surrounding trees, which are much younger.

Framing the path ahead are three silver birches, about 50 years old, but all the younger trees about are oak and beech. As you follow the path into the woodland notice that almost all the fallen trees are birch. Birch is one of the first trees to colonize open ground, since it has tiny, fine seeds with twin outgrowths that act as sails that are blown far on the wind. However birch is short lived and cannot compete with the slower growing but sturdier oak and beech.

Image: Birch seed by Steve Bolsover

The common shrub layer plant under the trees is bramble whose fruit is the blackberry. Bramble is an important wildlife plant but it can be invasive in rarer habitats such as grassland and needs controlling.

As you walk through the wood you will see brash piles where our volunteer group has been felling trees to get more light into the woodland. The cut down material is left in piles for animals to use as winter shelter.

Descend to the bridge over Holly Brook and then continue to post 3.

To description for short trail post 3

More on some of the birds you are likely to see or hear on the Common

More on the three species of deer on the Common and their tracks

Click here to learn more about the Harrow Nature Conservation Forum including guided walks and conservation workdays.