Wildlife Conservation Group in the

Forest of Dean


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14 January 2014

Brandricks Green cycle trail

Grid Ref SO636097


We were on the side of the cycle trail and were asked to open a track up as it becomes far too dark and shady in the summer. There was a lovely small pond at the end of the track which needed much more light to encourage flora to grow.

We were all invited by one of our team to join him in celebrating his many years with us at a buffet in a local pub. His wife had cooked a magnificent whole salmon and the afternoon was finished by a Dean Green Team quiz as below. If you do not know the answers then email us and we will give you a clue! (except for the spelling one!!!)

Dean Green Team Quiz

  1. Name the dogs who (currently) regularly attend at our sites.
  2. Which site were we on for the 2013 Summer Barbecue?
  3. Which site has the rare Sorbus trees?
  4. Which site were we on when we set fire to the heath/forest?
  5. Name our sites which begin with the letter W
  6. Which site were we first on when we took down miles of deer fencing?
  7. How many times have we been to Tidenham Chase since 2007?
  8. Where was the Dean’s last open cast coal mine?
  9. Of the many lakes and ponds in the Forest of Dean,  most are man-made, and maybe only one is a natural waterbody.   Which is it?
  10. Amazing things happened near here in 1856, but Mr Bessemer was more shrewd.    Where?
  11. Tree diseases are hitting a number of types of tree in the Forest,  including  Phytophthora.   Spell Phytophthora
  12. For many years, this small bog was famed for having an introduced population of the insectivorous pitcher plant.   Where is it?
  13. What is Sus scrofa?
  14. Work stopped here in 1918 (until the Dean Green Team started losing sweat there!). Where?
  15. Where do we see the Exmoor ponies? (2 sites)
  16. Where, in 2013, did we build anti boar hedging?
  17. Who are the four first aiders who completed the St. John’s Ambulance course?
  18. Where did we plant a handkerchief tree?
  19. Where are the Travertine Sands/dams?
  20. Where have we been clearing around an old pond in recent weeks?








This is the track being opened up by the felling of the small trees.




Frost Flowers

What we found this morning!! 

Some of the stranger ice formations you're likely to find in the woods are called "frost flowers" or "feather frost".  A typical example looks like a small puff-ball of cotton candy, a few inches across, made up of clusters of thin, curved ice filaments. 

Frost flowers usually grows on a piece of water-logged wood. It's something of a rare find, meaning that conditions have to be just so before it will form.

Not much has been written on this unusual phenomenon, and it has never been reproduced in a controlled laboratory environment.  It appears that the ice filaments are essentially pushed out from pores in the wood as they freeze.

It's something of a misnomer to call this frost, by the way, since it freezes from liquid water, not water vapor.




The pond at the end of the track.