Thursday, 28 August 2008

Oppy Wood

A beautiful sunny day, we head for Oppy Wood. This young wood was created 10 years ago by the Woodland Trust as part of their Woods on your Doorstep campaign. The site is nestled in between Cottingham and Hull, and trees are steadily growing. After a visit to the site you would probably would not call it 'a wood', as it's mostly an open wet meadow with young trees, but it has a wild feel to it nevertheless. The wood is not too large, so you can walk around it in less than an hour, and there are two circular paths which are regularly mowed. There are old drainage ditches which can overflow and add to the diversity of habitats. Today there were lots of berries: hawthorn, gelder rose, blackberries and dog rose, and acorns, some covered in an interesting gall. In the spring the site has lots of wildflowers. We see a hawker dragonfly hunting, see grasshoppers and a beautiful iridescent stinkbug nymph (Troilus luridus). And the presence of a Speckled Wood butterfly population is a good omen for the site becoming a woodland with time. I look forward to see this wood mature.
 You can find more info on the site here.
These are some pictures I've taken in our visits to Oppy Wood.
Troilus luridus
Female grasshopper
Speckled wood (Pararge aegeria)
Silk button spangle galls on the underside of oak leaves caused by the gall wasp Neuroterus numismalis
Knopper galls on acorns. Gall wasp Andricus quercuscalicis
Sloes. Blackthorn (Prunus spinosa)
To help you get there:

There are parking spaces in Dane Park Lane, at the west side of the site.
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