A Cotswold Year - Charting the seasons in the South Cotswolds

Wednesday 29 April 2015

Oak Trees

The  magnificent English Oaks Quercus Robur are now bursting into leaf although even when they are close together like these three they come out at different times.
There is always the old folk lore that oak  out before ash gives a dryer summer. We looked and they all seemed about the same this year but eventually took the picture below of a late ash !

Monday 27 April 2015

Coaley Wood Bluebells

Bluebells on  north west facing scarp of Coaley Wood are a little later than some in the area but are now out in their glory carpeting the woodland floor in blue,

Sunday 26 April 2015

Oak tree at sunset

Today's cooler conditions have given beautiful views of distant hills, here we see the Malvern hills in the background.
This evening's sunset enhanced this oak tree with it's dark stems and bright green leaves.

Sunday 19 April 2015

Bluebell Woods

Beech leaves are emerging and woodland flowers must rush to take advantage of the light before the leaf canopy shades the ground.
Bluebells have come into full bloom in the last week and wood garlic is just starting to flower.
Primroses violets and wood anemones are all in flower so this is a particularly beautiful time in the woods so make the most of it and take a walk!

Sunday 12 April 2015

Snakes Head Fritillary

Late April in the Thames water meadows near Cricklade is the time to see a spectacular display of snake's head fritillary  which fill the fields for a few weeks.This plant is an endangered species in the wild but flowers profusely in these fields. The bulbs like waterlogged conditions in the winter and the Thames floods here so conditions are ideal.

Wednesday 8 April 2015

Woodland Spring Flowers

 Spring is here and the woodland floor is green as plants make the most of the sunlight before leaves emerge on the trees and shade the light.
One of the first is the wood anemone which is blooming profusely at the moment and  a few early bluebells can also be spotted.

Tuesday 7 April 2015


 Jackdaws nest in rock crevices and small caves but also house chimneys where they drop twigs down the pot so that they lodge and form the base of a nest. In modern times many chimneys are connected to enclosed stoves via a flue pipe and birds looking for a nest site are apt to fall down and become trapped in the stove.
This bird was fortunate in that I was able to open the stove and release it apparently unharmed but many are not so lucky.

Thursday 2 April 2015

Cuckoo Flower

Cuckoo  Flower or Lady's Smock is now suddenly in flower in hedgerows and banks.
Its arrival in early April coincides with the arrival of the Cuckoo whose song marks the arrival of spring.
The sound of the Cuckoo is becoming increasingly rare in our area as numbers have declined in recent years.