Wildlife Conservation Group in the

Forest of Dean


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22 October 2019

Hadnock. near the Biblins Bridge along River Wye

Grid Ref SO537154

We travelled for over 3 miles along the forest tracks to reach the site near to the River Wye and then it was a steep climb up the hill.We were clearing an area on the hillside to benefit the Drab Looper Moth and the Wood White Butterfly.

We were right next to Lady Park Wood which is an ancient woodland set aside in 1944 to study how natural woodlands develop, now allowing comparison between unmanaged and managed mixed broadleaf woodland. It was formerly a coppice wood yielding charcoal for the iron industry, the 36-hectare wood has been completely unmanaged since 1944 and is designated as a National Nature Reserve overseen by the Forestry Commission, Natural England and Natural Resources Wales. Some parts of the wood have remained untouched by people since 1870.

A moment captured as this tree was felled!

Both the Drab Looper Moth and the Wood White Butterfly are declining in the country so clearing this glade might help their habitat.

This is Wood Spurge (Euphorbia amygdaloides) which is the main plant which Drab Looper Moths feed on.

The native plant is found in woodland, hedges and rocky places. It is the most common spring-flowering spurge in woods in the South. Wood Spurge is a rhizomatous perennial herb growing up to 90cm. Flowers are yellow green with concentric horns on the lobes.

Yes - we do have a lot of smokey fires!