Around 20 people joined Dr Richard Jefferson for the wild flower and grasses walk he led for the Friends of Bourne Wood. It was a lovely sunny evening, and we had a gentle stroll looking at least 40 species of plant, grass, shrub and tree.
We started with some common shrubs such as Elder and Hazel, and then discussed Herb Robert and the origination of its common name (from an Abbot!). Richard described the difference between a Dog Rose and a Field Rose, and we looked at white clover and its cousin, red clover which is preferred by bees.
Looking at grasses we saw the perennial rye-grass which is used commonly in agricultural grasslands and sports fields, false oat grass, and tufted hair grass along with Yorkshire Fog. We then looked at the Wild Service tree (the symbol of the Friends of Bourne Wood), which is normally found on woodland edges, and the Wych Elm which is more resistant to Dutch Elm Disease.
We admired the beauty of the sprawling Wood Vetch, and the common spotted orchid, and looked at the unusual sight in the wood of Vipers Bugloss (not a woodland plant). We found corn mint which is now a rare plant (although it seems common in the wood), and marsh bedstraw.
Thanks go to Richard for an enjoyable and informative walk.
The Friends of Bourne Wood held their second Wassail in the community orchard in Bourne on Saturday in conjunction with Bourne Borderers Morris. A Wassail is a traditional custom to celebrate the apple harvest of last year, to reawaken the trees, and to encourage them to bear fruit this year. The rain had cleared by the time the event started at 4.30pm and a crowd of around 80 people had gathered to join in the celebration. Richard Jefferson welcomed everyone to the event, and then Bourne Borderers commenced the proceedings with a traditional Morris dance. Those attending were then offered a taste of either mulled cider or apple juice and some cake, before everyone sung the ‘Apple Tree Wassail’.
The gathering then proceeded into the orchard, led by Emily, the Wassail Queen, the way being lit with lots of candles. The trees were blessed with cider, and toast was placed in the branches for the robins, by anyone wishing to take part, while Vaughan Roberts played his violin. The trees were wassailed, with the customary poem, followed by lots of noise, with everyone present banging pots and pans, and cheering!
Once back on the hard-standing the Borderers danced again, and all joined in the ‘Here we come a wassailing’. The evening ended with the Mummers play.
The Community Orchard Open Day, organised by the Friends of Bourne Wood, was well attended and thoroughly enjoyed by those who came. There was live music from Bourne Folk Club, who play regularly at the Masons, Bourne and Wishing Well, Dyke. They played two sets of lively music – a mix of Irish, Folk, Country and traditional tunes. People could either sit and listen, or wander and enjoy the ambiance of the orchard – or even dance as some were doing!
At lunch time the committee cut the cake celebrating 20 years of the Friends group, and this was shared amongst the helpers, with any excess supplementing the delicious cakes from the cake stall. Teas and coffees were available to wash them down.
Children could try their hands at pebble painting or picture colouring, and while waiting for these to dry were able to play some traditional games, which adults also enjoyed. There were also craft stalls and a plant stall.
The Friends had picked some fruit from the orchard, both to show people the different types of apples and pears, but also so people could take some away with them for a small donation. The Bourne Wood booklet was available
A huge ‘Thank You’ goes to Dean Hardy and the other musicians for their entertainment and to all our other volunteers who helped set up and look after the stalls on the day.
Around 25 people enjoyed a sunny Sunday afternoon walk looking at the fruits and nuts produced by trees, shrubs and plants within the wood.
The first shrub was an elderberry, with mention of using the fruit for jellies and syrup, and also the flowers for cordial, this was followed by a search for mast under the beech trees. Continuing we studied the dogwood, which has its cultivated cousin in many gardens, larch trees with their cones, and the common blackberry or bramble – which apparently has numerous varieties.
We moved on to look at blackthorn which produces the fruit sought after by so many to make sloe gin, oak trees searching for the many types of gall and hawthorn with its brightly coloured berries so attractive to birds. Various other species were discussed as we continued our way, including yew, guelder rose, rowan and crab apple.
On the way back we stopped to look at the wild service trees (which the group has as its emblem), these trees were planted on boundaries, have lovely white flowers in the spring and berries which can be made into jellies, although being brown in colour, are not very attractive or appetising!
The Friends of Bourne Wood have been in the process of creating a wildlife pond in the Community Orchard for several months.
This has now become a reality thanks to support from Bakkavor with a couple of work parties. The pond was started in November 2016, after the liner was donated by the Forestry Commission, but adverse weather stopped play, so finally last week it was completely dug, with the liner fitted and filled with water.
Everyone seemed to have great fun digging the pond, and it has been great to see it completed and full of water.
There is still plenty to do, with plants still to be inserted, and the area made secure.
Those visiting at the weekends can see the project develop further, and hopefully enjoy the wildlife attracted when completed. The orchard is open on Saturdays, Sundays and Bank Holidays 10am to 6pm (dusk in winter). There is a work party every Saturday morning from 10am to 12pm, for general maintenance of the orchard – which anyone is welcome to join.
The Friends would like to give a huge thank you to Bakkavor, and to the individuals – Carla Collick, Tracy London, Anna Moffitt, John Gomez, Nicole London, Richard Thorold, Shannon Hasbury and
Jennie Beasley, and to Cindy and Mick Curtis for managing the project.
The consultation document from SKDC for the Local Plan for the next 20 years, contains two allocations of housing which could affect Bourne Wood in the future:
One area is off Cedar Drive and although access is allocated to be off Cedar Drive – who knows what will happen in the future. Additionally it is a greenfield site, a very wet field, and brings housing closer to the wood reducing the green belt around the wood (at the moment this is a grass field with cattle).
There is also an allocation off Beaufort Drive – again this will mean an increase of traffic – access is not defined – so could this encourage ‘a relief road’ and brings housing ever closer to the wood – and it is a greenfield site.
Its important people read and understand the contents of the consultation document, because this is the future of Bourne and its surrounds. Helen Powell is organising a meeting next Wednesday July 19th to discuss the plan – at 8.30pm at the Abbey Church Hall – all welcome – which may give you a better idea about the consultation form! The consolation document can be view here.
The Friends had a successful Easter Trail on Easter Monday. Children followed a bug trail, answering questions related to the beasties placed around one of the rides. This was followed by a dinosaur quiz, which the children knew the answers to – while the parents struggled! Over 60 children participated in the event, accompanied by their parents and grandparents. Everyone seemed to enjoy the good weather, and the test of their observation skills and insect knowledge.
Bourne Wood: A portrayal of a wood in Kesteven. This A5 full colour booklet provides an insight into the history, natural history and forestry management of Bourne Wood, an ancient woodland in south Lincolnshire. Its contribution to nature conservation and local amenity are also outlined. Dr Keith Porter, Deputy Chief Scientist at Natural England, reviews the booklet:
Bourne Wood: A Portrayal Of A Wood In Kesteven
This attractively produced booklet is a must for anyone visiting Bourne Wood in Lincolnshire. It packs in everything you need to understand its history from 1086 to the present day and the wildlife and facilities that the Wood offers to visitors. The colourful guide to the plants and animals of Bourne Wood offers a taster of what you can see throughout the year and provides a fully detailed list of recorded species at the end of the booklet.
For visitors, it gives clear detail on parking, footpaths and facilities and includes everything you need to know for an exciting day out in the wild! This is an excellent guide to a place that is easily accessible to people from nearby Bourne and further afield – highly recommended and great value.
The Friends of Bourne Wood held their first Wassail in the community orchard in Bourne on Saturday in conjunction with Bourne Borderers Morris. A Wassail is a traditional custom to celebrate the apple harvest and reawaken the trees. The event started at 4.30pm, just as it was becoming dusk with Bourne Borderers dancing. The crowd that had gathered were then offered a taste of either mulled cider or apple juice and some cake, before everyone sung the ‘Apple Tree Wassail’.
The gathering then proceeded into the orchard, the way being lit with lots of natural lights. The trees were blessed with cider, and toast was placed in the branches for the robins, by anyone wishing to take part. The Wassail Queen Emily sang a beautiful solo and the trees were wassailed, followed by lots of noise, with everyone present banging pots and pans, and cheering!
Once back on the hard-standing the Borderers danced again, Emily sang a further lovely song, and all joined in the ‘Here we come a wassailing’.
“Our Wassail, jolly Wassail, joy come to our jolly Wassail. How well they may bloom, how well they may bear, so we may have apples and cider next year”
“Hat-fulls, cap-fulls, three bushel bag-fulls, little heaps under the stairs. Hip, hip… Hooray!”
The evening ended with the Mummers play, and thanks to all for their attendance and help.
The Friends would like to especially thank Bourne Borderers for their help and support with this new event.
The enduring appeal of mushrooms and toadstools ensured that around 30 people turned out for the fungi foray in Bourne Woods in late October. Dr Vin Fleming gave a brief introductory talk on fungi before we set off into the woods armed with our various collecting baskets and containers.
An hour or so later the group had amassed a diverse collection of different types and Vin set about trying to identify what the group had picked.
One of the stranger species was the golden spindles which we found in grassland near the car park while arguably the most unusual coloured species was the lilac toadstool known as the amethyst deceiver.
Other types we found included the common puff ball (edible when young!), shaggy ink cap, sulphur tuft (a poisonous species), trouping funnel cap, blushing bracket, honey fungus, and the ochre brittlegill, the latter so-called due to its dull yellow cap.
Although it may seem rather destructive, small-scale collecting of fungi is not detrimental to maintaining populations of the various fungi. Mushrooms and toadstools are just the fruiting bodies of the fungus and the bulk of a fungus is underground forming a vast web of branching threads known as the mycelium. Of course, more caution would be required with very rare species of fungi or where fungi are being collected commercially.