Wednesday, 11 May 2016

The Ovington Ramblers: Wayland Wood

Maureen Simmons

Our walk this week took us just a short distance away to Wayland Wood- always a lovely site to visit but particularly at this time of the year. We chose a lovely sunny morning and emerging from the car park we saw quite a large clump of bluebells. Soon afterwards we saw the first of many early purple orchids. They really are increasing in number and grow in profusion where they never used to be. We also noted yellow archangel, pink campion and white star of Bethlehem (sadly we didn't see the yellow version and made a note to look earlier next year). The birds were very vocal particularly the chiffchaffs. The bird cherry trees were in full bloom. Many white flowers smell gorgeous but this can't be said of the blossom of the bird cherry!

Before long we came to the main bluebell area of the wood. What a wonderful sight with dappled sun shining through the tree canopy on to what looked like a sea of blue! The scent of the bluebells was quite strong too-so different from the Spanish bluebells of garden cultivation. In the same area we saw many wood anemones plus a few tiny wood sorrel and ferns uncurling to take over as summer begins.

Wayland Wood has so much to recommend it with it being a circular walk AND it never seems to be crowded. Even though it provides the annual bluebell 'fix' for walkers it is also a wonderful walk at any time of the year. The downside is that although the wood is designated as a dog free area it is frequented by owners and their dogs usually not on leads. On this occasion we saw a lady in full running kit plus 2 dogs using the paths as a training ground and on a previous occasion we saw a large dog breakfasting on the eggs belonging to a ground nesting bird. How can this be changed?

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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