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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
15th June 2013
The 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.