The Jubilee Wood Blog

The Jubilee Wood Blog

Jubilee Wood August 2018

August weather has been a little more familiar than the heatwave we’ve experienced over the last couple of months but as always, nature adapts and familiar sights are in the wood even if they are a little earlier in the season than we would expect.

Look out for the  Robin’s Pincushion (see photo) which is  a gall caused by the larvae of a tiny gall wasp, Dipoloepis rosae and is very common in hedgerows and woods. It is usually found on Dog roses (Rosa canina) and gets redder in the autumn, but this year it  seems to be maturing early and can be easily recognised. Each gall has many grubs inside it which feed on the gall tissues throughout the winter and emerge during the spring as adults.

Look around and you’ll see that the  wood is full of other interesting things at this time of year too. Fruits and nuts, fascinating seed heads and of course, the ever present wildlife which really appreciates the cover provided for them are just a few things to watch out for.

Why not have a wander around and see how the wood is changing with the progress of the season,  you won’t be disappointed!

The Wood  Wanderer.



Jubilee Wood July 2018

Although it’s  been a very dry and hot month, the trees in the wood appear to be coping although the lowering of the pond level shows just how much the water table has gone down so they must be digging deep with their roots.

All species will have been affected by this unusual summer weather but on the positive side the wood has been full of butterflies and moths, some of which haven’t been recorded there before. We’re very fortunate to have enthusiastic and  knowledgeable volunteers who come to the wood to trap and record moths on a regular basis and they are always pleased to welcome people and explain what they are doing if you’re interested. Although they often have to come at short notice, due to the weather conditions, they came this month and  recorded over 75 different sorts of moths of all shapes and sizes , the most interesting of which was an Ear moth. Sadly it isn’t shaped like an ear, but a new moth which was recorded, the Magpie moth, which flies during the day doesn’t look like a magpie either! Always good to have a first and it shows how the wood  is encouraging more diversity as it grows.

It will be interesting to see the effects of this unusually long period of drought which often aren’t apparent for months to come. Let’s enjoy the warm evenings while we can and trust to nature which is far better at adapting than we are.

The Woodland Wanderer

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Magpie Moth caught on camera by the Woodland Wanderer.


June is bursting out all over in the Jubilee wood!

The trees have exploded into life, their leaves forming a canopy of green in every shade nature can manage. The flowers on the fruit and hazel trees have already started to form into fruit and nuts (see photo below) but the elder flower and privet are still blossoming and feeling the warm air with the sweet scent as you pass by.

Bee orchid

The flowers at ground level are also putting on a wonderful display, so look down as well! Michael was the first to find the elusive but very beautiful Bee orchid flowering (see photo below). The common orchid is now spreading in the wood and if you look carefully along the small paths of the wood you might still see some in flower. The oxeye daisy is now colonising the wood and as a grassland perennial it flowers from May to September so we can enjoy it for many weeks to come. Along with other flowers they attract all sorts of pollinating insects including bees, butterflies and hover flies, so they look wonderful but also have an important job to play in the complex interactions of our environment.

Meadow Brown

This recent spell of sunny weather and flowering plants  has brought out so many pollinators, that as you walk around the wood you can’t help notice the Meadow Brown (Manila jurtina)  butterflies as they dart about. They are small, yellow orange and brown and the forewing has a black spot at the tip but the hind wing is brown, grey and cream. It’s one of our most widespread butterflies and often close their wings when they settle.

Great British Bee count

You can help another pollinator by joining in the Great British Bee count at as  the data they collect will help to monitor how bees are doing. It’s only going for another week so you’ll have to be quick but it provides you with a handy identification chart and lots of information about our busy friends. I was relieved to find that it’s an easy and free App to download!

The Shepherd’s calendar

As our great local poet, John Clare, said  about this wonderful month of June in his poem The Shepherd’s calendar, June

Now summer is in flower and natures hum
Is never silent round her sultry bloom
Insects as small as dust are never done………

And in celebration of another much maligned insect, the spider, he conjures up a wonderful picture…

Where it’s silk netting lace on twigs and leaves
The mottled spider at eves leisure weaves
That every morning meets the poets eye
Like faireys dew wet dresses hung to dry

Ok, so you might not believe in fairies but you have to admit there’s a certain type of magic in nature and we have a bit of it right on our doorstep in the Jubilee Wood.

The Woodland Wanderer

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