A record of wildlife in my garden and various trips to the Warwickshire countryside and occasionally further afield.
"To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour."
From "Auguries of Innocence"
by William Blake
Sunday, 13 May 2012
A Secret Hidden Wood full of Bluebells
Last month I did a post "Following in the Footsteps of an Edwardian Lady Part 3: Olton Mill Pool", when I mentioned how much Olton and Solihull had changed since Edith Holden wrote her nature notes in 1905 and 1906.
Despite the vast amount of housing and other development in the area, when I looked at the current Ordance Survey map, pockets of woodland - hundreds of years old - still survive today.
Last Friday I decided to pay a visit to one of these woodland fragments - Coldlands Wood - which is shown (although not named) on the Ordance Survey map of the early twentieth century.
The Wood is almost entirely surrounded by houses with just an area of grassland along one edge. Initially, I found it hard to actually access the wood.
My first sighting of the wood from a church or community hall car park but there was no sign of a way in here!
Finally, I spotted an alleyway hidden between two houses which led into the wood.
Entering the wood - it was very muddy and I was glad I had my wellies on!
The biggest delight of all was the large amount of bluebells covering the woodland floor.
It was lovely and quiet in this glade (looking like somewhere from "Lord of the Rings") - just birdsong for company.
"A fine and subtle spirit dwells In every little flower, Each one its own sweet feeling breathes With more or less of power. There is a silent eloquence In every wild bluebell That fills my softened heart with bliss That words could never tell......."
Lines taken from "The Bluebell" by Anne Bronte
I found a few flowers of Yellow Archangel.
I had left my binoculars in the car but there were plenty of the more common species of birds around - wood pigeons, blackbirds, magpies, robins and blue and great tits.
I am not sure if Edith Holden of "Country Diary" fame ever visited this particular wood but it is only a few miles from where she lived in Olton so I like to think she would have walked here on her many travels in the area.
Coldlands Wood covers around 3.7 hectares and is semi-natural broad-leafed mixed woodland listed in the Ancient Woodlands Inventory. Oak, Birch and Beech are present with an understorey of Rowan, Hazel, Holly, Hawthorn and Elder. The trees vary in age but there are several veteran Birch and Beech Trees. The wood is hidden away just a mile or so from Solihull Town Centre.
Sorry that the photos are not that good - the light was really poor as it was starting to rain and even with an ISO of 800 I was only getting shutter speeds of 1/15th or 1/20th of a second.
Many thanks to Chris of Las Aventuras (please see link on the right) for giving me the idea for the post heading.
Welcome to my blog. I have been interested in natural history from an early age and we have tried to create a garden attractive to wildlife. I also enjoy reading, photography, collecting fossils, visiting historic buildings and gardens and supporting Aston Villa. Please feel free to leave a comment and, if you would like to email me, my email address is ciraggedrobinsATgmail.com - remember to replace AT with @. Thank you for visiting.