Bathinghouse Wood

 

The wooded area of approximately 0.62 ha is bounded on the east west and north by historic walling.  Within this area the mature tree cover is approximately 60% mixed broadleaf and 40% Sitka Spruce.  The mature broad leafed trees are predominantly Sycamore with some Ash, Oak, and Beech.  The shrub layer contains Rowan, Holly, Wych Elm, Hawthorn, Bird Cherry, and Dog Rose.  There are also non-native Whitebeam, and Snowberry.

 

The Sitka Spruce appear to have been planted at the end of the Second World War as restoration following felling of trees when a barracks area was constructed in the woods for manning the defences on the cliffs at the seaward side of the area.  A number of these trees blew down in recent severe gales and it is intended to replant this open area with native trees.

 

The ground flora in this wood is dominated by Stinging Nettles, evidence of enrichment, and there is also ivy and bramble producing a dense ground cover.  Among the Sitka Spruce under the cliff are some clumps of Male Fern.  Some more interesting wild flowers are to be found alongside the paths with White Dead-nettle, Hedge Woundwort(AWI), Cow Parsley, Hogweed, Garlic Mustard, Foxglove, Lesser Celendine, and various Thistles. [AWI indicates that the species is listed as “Ancient Woodland Indicator” in “The Wild Flower Key” by Francis Rose.]

 

In springtime there are Blubells, but some of these are Spanish Bluebell or their hybrid with the native species.  There are also stands of invasive Rosebay Willow-herb and a garden variety of Yellow Archangel.

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