Hillhouse Wood Diaries

Diary Contributions

Many visit Hillhouse Wood, some may feel a Muse coming on them and wish to write about it.  We are particularly happy to take contributions from young people and publish them on this page.

Tim Shaikly’s Images of the Stream over time

This visual diary shows the changes in the stream from winter to summer 2016:

Anna’s Hillhouse Wood Diary

One of the Friends of Hillhouse Wood’s younger members decided in 2013 that, for her Duke of Edinburgh Silver Award, she would spend 6 months or so going through Hillhouse Wood collecting litter and making observations.  This is her diary…

Wednesday 20th November

The fungi and fruits are still prevalent.  The canopy is now beginning to yellow, and the forest floor is covered in falling leaves and almost obscured the path.  The ferns have almost died back.  The paths are now starting to get muddy and slippery but the new walkways give good slip protection.  I think I found the last flower in the woods which I am unable to identify.

I look forward to seeing the dormant bulbs burst into life in spring, because at the moment you can not even see that they ever existed.

Stinkhorn fungus
Stinkhorn fungus
Holly
Holly & berries
Leaves in the canopy turning yellow
Leaves in the canopy turning yellow
Fern die-back
Fern die-back
The last flower?
The last flower?
Canopy yellowing
Canopy yellowing

Friday 1st November

There is some destruction in the woods from the previous stormy period. There were not any very large trees that had fallen down. There were small twigs all over the wood floor that had been ripped off by the ferocious winds. Thankfully none of this damage has cause significant disturbance to the foot paths other than a branch across the footpath just by the wild garlic.

Fallen leaves & small branches in Hillhouse Wood
Fallen leaves & small branches
Small branch crossing path in Hillhouse Wood
Small branch crossing path
Larger branch over path in Hillhouse Wood
Larger branch over path
Scattering of twigs in Hillhouse Wood
Scattering of twigs on floor of wood

Friday 18th October

More leaves have fallen and covered the path in some places. The ferns and reeds in the top pond are dying back but brambles still strong. A few small branches have come down in the high winds last week. Paths only a little muddy after heavy rain.

I also took down the two remaining fruit walk posters that were still up.

Fallen leaves near streambed at Hillhouse Wood
Fallen leaves near stream
Fungi & moss amongst the leaf mould in Hillhouse Wood
Fungi & moss amongst the leaf mould

Friday 6th September

There are signs of autumn in the woods. The blackberries are beginning to ripen. The Rosebay Willow Herb has furry seeds ready for dispersal by the coming autumn wind. The greens are less vibrant, and the ferns are starting to die off. The green acorns are falling along with early leaves.

Blackberries starting to ripen
Blackberries starting to ripen
Rosebay Willowherb seeds ripe for lift off
Rosebay Willowherb seeds ripe for lift off
Ferns starting to die back
Ferns starting to die back
Greens are less vibrant
Greens are less vibrant
Green acorns and early leaf fall
Green acorns and early leaf fall
Signs of log in stream catching loose branches?
Signs of log in stream catching loose branches?

Wednesday 31st July

Despite the tropical weather, the woods are looking very healthy indeed!  The berries are forming and survived the hot spell well. I came across an oak tree with bark damage, thankfully the damage is not dominating the whole tree, it should survive!  There is still no colour in the woods, other than the Rosebay Willowherb.

oak tree with bark damage
Bark damage on oak tree
rosebay willowherb
Rosebay Willowherb

7th July 2013

No noticeable change in the woods other than its response to the hot weather!

30th June 2013

The woods today were looking marvellous! The canopy of green is growing ever thicker and the nettles are invading the footpaths. Areas that were cut back last year have fought their way back. The log in the stream is still causing disruption, and I can imagine that a ox-bow lake will soon form in this area of the stream.
Nettles invading pathwayBench in the woodsLog in streamDownstream view of log

15th June 2013

Anna found this log in the stream and took this picture for her web diaryThe colour variation in the woods has recently toned down to being mainly a vibrant green, without the intense spring colours.  The bluebells are setting to seed.  There is also a large log in the stream which could unfortunately lead to disruption in the future (see picture); I will therefore be keeping an eye on it.