DCS Local Heritage Event : Spring walk in Waresley Wood

Saturday 7th May 2016 Return to Alumni Events


Graham Explains


A Bluebell Vista


Early Purple Orchids


Time for a Rest

The annual D.C.S. spring walks to local blue bell woods are some of our best attended events but a series of circumstances led to several people having to withdraw this year so we arrived at the newly made car-park at Waresley Wood with just 10 people. Here we met our guide for the morning, Graham Moorby, who has been the voluntary warden of the wood for several years now.

In his introduction he outlined some of the history of the wood before we left for our walk. Waresley and Gransden Woods are adjoining ancient oak-ash woods, part of the original ancient South Cambridgeshire woodland. In the first half of the 20th century the wood was harvested for timber and was replanted with oaks and sycamores, creating areas that are very different from the undisturbed broadleaved woodland and traditional coppice plots. This site is now part of the West Cambridgeshire Hundreds Living Landscape Scheme.The Wildlife Trust of Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire and Northamptonshire has purchased the reserve in sections since 1976 and now owns all but one area in the north.

Initially our walk took us across a moorland-type of field which, with the car-park, had been recently acquired by the Trust. However as soon as we entered the wood we were faced with carpets of bluebells which seemed to be at their best in the hot weather. The bluebell cover seemed to be present wherever we went which slowed the party down as we both admired and photographed the blue vistas of the wood. Mixed in with the bluebells were the white greater stitchwort and wood anemones and yellow oxlips, primroses and cowslips as well as some of their hybrids. We also found a small patch of herb paris leaves but the plants were not yet in flower. Later Graham showed us a badger sett and separately a badger latrine to add to the sightings and, as we walked and stopped Graham explained how the management was maintaining the biodiversity of the wood as well as interesting facts about the species that we were seeing and some local history.

When we reached the far end of the wood there was a ditch separating the wood from agricultural fields and Graham explained that before the Trust started the wood purchases, this arable field had slowly been turned from wood into field over a number of years so that the wood had once included all the arable land in front of us as well. If that was a sad thought we were instantly brightened by ditch sides of early purple orchids and a patch of the unusual goldilocks buttercup.

The result of this spectacle was a late arrival at the Duncombe Arms where we spent our lunchtime having good food and lots of conversation which included Graham, who answered still more questions.

Many thanks go to Graham who both is a voluntary warden and a voluntary guide and who both showed us the great spectacles of his wood and helped our education us well.


There Was a Lot of Photo Opportunities


Graham Explaining Again

High Blossom

Looking at Tree Blossom


Graham Explaining Again

Pictures by Terry and Helen Moore (Click on the pictures for larger versions)

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