Ramblings from Finemere Wood

Great tit (Parus major) perched on branch in snow by Mark Hamblin/2020VISION

Charlotte Karmali brings the latest news from the volunteers at Finemere Wood.

We are on the cusp of spring. As the days gradually lengthen, life in all forms steadily emerges from its dark and murky winter hideaway. At Finemere Wood, the tender leaves of woodland wonders are beginning to emerge: primroses, bluebells and wood anemones, with the promise of a lavish and colourful floral display.

The birds are singing, their individual songs exquisite, intricate and unfailingly uplifting. And spring is in the step of the volunteers too, as they bask in the fresh, soft sunlight and observe the awakening of nature.

The great tit (Parus major), recognisable to most, can be heard loudly and clearly throughout the wood. It has an array of calls, the most familiar being the piercing two-syllable “teacher, teacher” song.

Green and yellow, with a glossy black head and white cheeks, it is the largest of the tit family, measuring 14cm in length. Its underside is yellow, with a central black stripe which acts as an indicator of status, the larger stripes being more attractive to females.

Parus major is a woodland bird, but its adaptability has enabled it to thrive in gardens and parks too. Feeding on insects, nuts, and seeds, it is a cavity nester, choosing holes in trees or bird boxes in which to nest. Over winter, it will flock with its relations, the blue tits, in search of food.


Volunteers clearing scrub at Finemere Wood

Having soaked up rays of energising sunlight, the volunteers press on with the work at hand, for the cutting must stop at the beginning of March, to allow plants and trees to flourish and birds to nest. There is much scrub to be cut, and much tidying up to be done.

Scavengers of wood bring in their creations to display; the master woodworker amongst us exhibits two spoons carved out of Finemere oak. This is just a taster of what is to come from this talented craftsman, keep your eyes open over the coming months, for his next creation will take up residence in this beautiful wood of ours.

Come and join the Finemere Wood volunteers. Everyone's welcome and no experience is necessary!

Contact Charlotte for further information.

Next work party dates: Thursday 13 February, Thursday 27 February, Thursday 12 March;  Thursday 26 March, Thursday 9 April, Thursday 23 April, all 9.30am-3pm.


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