By the Wye sits in 4.5acres of Ancient Woodland right on the banks of the River Wye. Each winter we have been sympathetically clearing, strimming, and dead-wooding and are beginning to see the fruits of our labours in the emergence of many species of Spring Wildflowers.
Spring Wildflowers are what makes our Woods in Hay on Wye particularly beautiful, from the dazzling Bluebells to the tiny Dog Violets, not only do they make for a gorgeous woodland walk, but they provide precious nectar for invertebrates.
Here are the Spring Wildflowers we have identified in the Woods;
Bluebell – Enchanting and iconic, bluebells are a favourite with the fairies and a sure sign Spring is in full swing. The violet glow of a bluebell wood is an incredible wildflower spectacle and our will be out any day now.
Bramble – The really spikey one! Hardy and determined, the bramble uses powerful roots to grow rapidly in almost any environment. We have lots of Bramble in the woods, and are looking forward to lots of juicy Blackberries in the Summer.
Common Dog Violet – A charming sanctuary for butterflies, common in UK woodland. Look to the woodland floor for a flush of purple and you might see fritillary butterfies feeding and laying their eggs.
Dog’s Mercury – A poisonous coloniser of ancient woodland, Dog’s Mercury is quick to sweep over the woodland floor and in our Woods is found in large patches near the Cwtch. We are keeping an eye on it to prevent it from outcompeting some of the more delicate ancient woodland species.
Foxglove – Beautiful but deadly. This familiar flower has the power to cure and kill.
Honeysuckle – Twining, wonderfully scented woodland stunner. This trumpet-like flower is a paradise for wildlife, with its sweet, heady fragrance calling to nearby species, particularly on warm summer evenings.
Ivy – The Woods have loads of Ivy. Clingy, luscious, misunderstood. Ivy has long been accused of strangling trees, but it doesn’t harm the tree at all, and even supports at least 50 species of wildlife.
Lesser Celandine – Charming and a cheerful yellow, the star-shaped flowers of the Lesser Celandine brighten up the Woodland Floor. There are large blankets of these throughout the woods, but particularly at the entrance.
Primrose – Primroses are a cheeful sign of Spring. They are one of the first woodland blooms and an important nectar source for butterflies.
Snowdrop – One of the first signs of Spring, we were so happy to see Snowdrops appear after a long winter of clearing the woodland. The bulbs were dormant in the soil, waiting for a bit of sunshine to allow them to return. While not native to these shores, these hardy flowers have become a familiar indicator of the shifting seasons and a sure sign that warmer weater is on its way.
Sweet Violet – Romantic and showy, Sweet Violet grows on woodland edges, it’s flowers providing nectar for butterflies in early spring.
Wood Anemone – My favourite. Sun loving, gentle, a mark of the old. Wood Anemone is one of the first Spring blooms, arriving to take in the light through the leafless canopy in broadleaf woodland, There presence telsl us that our wood is indeed an ancient one.