Monday, 4 April 2011

Millington Wood in April

We make a trip to Millington Wood, a botanical gem nestled in a dry vale - Lily Vale - near Pocklington. It was originally an ash wood, but in the 60s it was replanted commercially with spruce and beech and only small pockets of the original woodland remain. It was made a nature reserve in 1991 by the East Riding of Yorkshire, and it is managed so that the replanted species are felled and the wood converted into charcoal in a kiln in the reserve (below) itself, to encourage the native calcareous ash woodland.
Today we spot early woodland flowers, many Lesser Celandines and Wood Anemones, a few Primroses and a small pocket of Dog Violets. Fresh, pungent Ramsons leaves carpeted vast sways of the wood and the flower buds of bluebells had started to appear amongst the leaves.
 Primroses
 Wood Anemones
Dog Violet with Bombus pascuorum
A hillside at the top of the reserve covered on Ramsons or wild garlic
 As for fauna, we came across a carcass of a crow which some carrion beetles are feeding on, they run and dig for cover but we manage some shots. We spot a Peacock and a Brimstone, and several bumblebees and many ladybirds.
 The carrion beetle Oiceoptoma thoracica
Seven spots and an orange ladybird hibernating
There is a good path for most of the way, which becomes steep and narrow with steps to reach the top of the valley and then you can return in a circular walk on a higher path, a bit rougher and with more steps. Overall, a mile walk.
To top today's trip we see a Red Kite flying over Market Weighton and a hare in a field nearby.

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