Tuesday, 31 May 2016

The Ovington Ramblers: East Winch Common

Joyce Woods

Our walk today took us to East Winch Common, an area of contrasts- woodland, dry heathland and wet heathland. The wooded area near the entrance to the reserve consisted mostly of oak and birch trees with a patch of gooseberry bushes by the path. We wondered just how they came to be there? Here we heard our most vocal bird of the day - a chaffinch in full voice perched on top of a dead birch tree trunk . Soon we emerged on to the heath itself. This must have been quite a joyous sight in recent weeks when the gorse bushes were in full bloom.Interspersed with these were many tiny birch trees which had been "trimmed" by the resident cattle who were observing us with interest. Other plants seen were yellow Tormentil, cushions of Cross-Leaved Heath (not quite into bloom), Lady's Smock in the damper parts of the heath and bright blue Milkweed.

We crossed over the heathland and entered another part of the woodland area. Once again there were many oak trees but this time mixed with mountain ash. These were in full bloom and looked very ornate. The woodland floor had young bracken emerging and unfolding as well as woodland of the future in the form of 5cm high seedlings of the canopy trees. We wondered if they would survive the daylight being greatly reduced in a few weeks time by the bracken and trees overhead or maybe this is Mother Nature's version of permaculture and we humans didn't come up with the idea in the first place!

Our walk today was good but a warm sunny day would have made it excellent with the variety of habitat an offer at this site.

The Ovington Ramblers are a small group of friends who have decided in their 20th year of walking together that we will try to visit all the Norfolk Wildlife Trust reserves in their 90th Anniversary year.   

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