Over the past week I’ve been fortunate to visit several woods across the district. I’ve been to Judy Woods in Wyke, Heber’s Ghyll in Ilkley, Park Wood in Keighley, and Buck Wood at Thackley. Each visit was shared with others either in the form of colleagues or members of the fantastic ‘Friends of‘ groups.
The locations I mention are all woodland sites. They have much in common, with the obvious being many trees present. However, they are also different in many ways. Whether it be the subtle difference in tree species composition, the underlying soils and geology, history of site usage e.g. quarrying, the aspect and slope lending to distinct microclimates, or the wildlife witnessed while on a wander, all of these differences and similarities result in a distinct mix making up a particular woodland.
Highlights have included a flash of glossy yellow at Judy Woods where lesser celandine is flowering along the beck side, the distinct call then a terrific view of a sparrowhawk in the treetops at Park Wood, and a treecreeper patrolling the stem of a dead tree then taking its invertebrate prey to a nest concealed behind the bark. Just yesterday I saw my first English bluebell flower of 2018 at Buck Wood. Spring is considered late this year but it definitely has now sprung!