Monday, 20 June 2016

The Ovington Ramblers: Honeypot Wood

Joyce Woods

Our walk today took us to Honeypot Wood, an ancient woodland, approximately 4 miles from Dereham. During World War II it was used as a bomb dump area as a result of which it had still visible concrete roads around and across the site. This made access easier than would otherwise have been after a day of heavy rain.

Throughout our walk we looked carefully for twayblade, greater butterfly orchid and broad leaved helleborine ,the three flowers mentioned in the handbook, but sadly we were unable to see any of the three. However we did see lots of speedwell, vetch, wood avens, both pink and white campion, bugle and, best of all, herb paris (never seen that before so proved to be an exciting find).

The saddest part of the day was seeing ash tree dieback throughout the wood. It seemed to involve trees of all sizes from very large to those which had cut down and had started to regrow not always with success. We noted many cut and tied bundles of long straight branches of small diameter and wondered if they were destined for garden spade/fork handles.

We heard many birds competing for top birdsong prize but felt it must go to a robin at the top of a dying ash tree. We saw rabbits but no deer although evidence was visible in the form of fern tip and wild rose pruning.

It was an interesting walk but we felt great sadness over the plight of the ash trees there.

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