Tottington Woodlanders

We are a registered charity which manages an area of ancient woodland next to the village of Small Dole near Henfield in West Sussex.

Botanical Survey 2016

The botanical survey this year focused on just 2 areas.  The first area was in Cant C, which is the area coppiced last winter. The other area was in cant N, an area that has not been coppiced since Tottington Woodlanders have been managing the wood, but it is hoped that this will come into the coppice cycle soon. In cant C, we recorded 60 specimens and in cant N, 51.

grassThe team undertaking the survey was led by Malcolm and planned to meet approximately monthly throughout the summer.  In practice, some of the proposed dates where postponed due to the rather wet start to the summer. The idea being, that as new species start to grow, we will gather as much data as possible. As an amateur group we still find identifying the grasses particularly difficult although I do believe we are slowing improving. We can spend a lot of time with a 10x magnification lens looking at the most minute details on a specimen to make sure we have identified the correct species. Only if we are sure we are correct do we agree to add to the list of recordings. So I am sure there have been a few items overlooked.



If anyone would like to join us next year to help you would be very welcome. You do not need to know the Latin names we can always look them up.

birchWe started early in the year before the leaves formed on the trees and I particularly enjoyed using my new winter tree app, to identify the trees before they had any leaves.  The difference between Silver birch Betula pendula and Downy Birch Betula pubescens looking at the twigs Downy birch has a layer of short hairs and silver birch the twigs are very thin and tend to hang down. Also the trunk of a silver birch has a


distinctive diamond shaped scars. In cant C we have both birches growing side by side and the differences are easy to see. It is easy to forget the trees in the summer when we are looking at the ground all the time to find the flowers. So it was good to survey each area in the winter before the distraction of the spring flowers begin and what a distraction the bluebells (hyacinthoides non-scipta) provided this year in my opinion were the best we have seen for many years.






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