Den Building Competition Take Two

The Friends of Bourne Wood had a warm, sunny day for their second den building competition of the year on Sunday.

The families used leftover materials from the thinning to create dens deep within the wood, which were then covered with bracken. John Wilcockson, the leader of the event explained how to make the dens, suggested extras that could be added and that there would be a rainstorm to test the waterproofness of the dens at the end!

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Taking shelter! Bourne Wood Den Building Competition.

Four families, plus John’s family entered the competition in the morning, with the winners being the Whitney family from South Witham. The afternoon session had three groups with the winners being an all ladies team of Adams and Carlton, who won with lots of added extras such as a washing line and toilet!

Everyone had great fun, although they all got wet when water was thrown over the dens!

Photographer John Wilcockson©

Den Building Competition In Bourne Wood

We had a warm day with sunny intervals for our den building competition on Sunday.

Five families used leftover materials from the wood thinning to create dens deep within the wood. Most were made lean-to style, with the exception of one wigwam style. The dens were then covered with Bracken to help make them waterproof.

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The wigwam den made by the Copestake family for five people.

The wigwam style den was big enough for two families, with a dog kennel at the end for the family’s springer spaniel, accommodating five people very comfortably, a very impressive but ambitious design in the time allotted. Other dens had outside seating, carpeted floors, and open fires.

Once made, the dens were tested to see if they were waterproof with the families sitting inside, and the others listening for the screams as they got wet – which everyone did!

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The winning lean-to design made by the Knudson family.

As always, it was difficult to choose a winner as all dens were really good, but the winner was made by the Knudson family, a lean-to design with carpet, a rocking chair, and a camp fire!

There will be another chance to try your hand at den building at the end of August, so look out for the posters for this.

Photographer Sarah Roberts©

Bug Hunt In Bourne Woods

We had a lovely sunny summer afternoon for our bug hunt. The event started with John Creedy showing us his moth trap from his garden the previous evening, and explaining to the children (and adults) how the trap worked, and the differences between moths and butterflies. He then let the children handle the moths, a huge poplar Hawk moth, an Orange Underwing and a Buff Ermine to name but a few.

From there Jon Webb hand out some nets to those present, butterfly nets to catch flying insects, sweep nets to brush over the vegetation to catch small bugs. The children (and their parents) then had great fun trying to catch butterflies and even more fun putting them in the pots provided!

We then wandered along with people catching bugs and taking them to the various experts to identify. There were numerous Ringlet butterflies, a few large Skippers, a White Admiral, a lovely Longhorn beetle, an Oak Bush cricket nymph (with really long feelers), and a Flea beetle to name just a few that we caught.

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Silver-Washed Fritillary (Argynnis Paphia) a rare sighting!

The highlight for me was the Silver Washed Fritillary though, caught after a prolonged chase I believe but absolutely stunning and something I had not seen previously in the wood, we all waited patiently until Keith Porter returned to identify it!

Thank you to Keith, John , Jon and Richard for a very entertaining and informative afternoon which I hope can be repeated.

Photo courtesy of UK Butterflies

 

Grasses Walk With Dr Richard Jefferson

We had a very pleasant summer evening stroll with the weather being dry and sunny.  There were about a dozen people who came to learn about grasses, and Dr Richard Jefferson very kindly agreed to also cover the trees and wildflowers we saw too!

During the evening we identified about 11 species of tree, 37 varieties of wildflower, and 12 grasses and sedges.  This is course is only a small selection of what is the wood, as we only covered a short distance due to stopping to inspect plants!

Richard not only helped us to identify grasses by explaining the features of some of the them, and for instance the difference between rushes and sedges, but he also told us interesting facts such as that Rye Grass is often used for football pitches as it is hard-wearing, and that one of the tallest grasses (which was taller than Richard) is Reed Canary Grass which likes damp areas.

We tend to alternate our wildflower walks between the Spring and Summer so we can enjoy and learn about different species each time, and thanks go to Richard for leading an enjoyable evening.

Identify Wild Flowers And Berries With Naturetale App

Do you want help identifying wild flowers and berries? Friends Chairman Richard Jefferson has helped develop a new mobile phone app to help people enjoy plants more. Working with a friend he has produced the Naturetale App. This enables people to identify the wild flowers and berries you are likely to encounter on a country walk. Continue reading Identify Wild Flowers And Berries With Naturetale App

All Senses Rejuvenated: The Joys of Bourne Woods

If you have worries or are feeling down- go to the woods! We have endured weeks of winter grey with muddy paths, damage from gales and, in some parts, floods. However it has come out all right in the end with carpets of Bluebells and Greater Stitchwort. The new growth is a lush green and spring is in the air. The Blackcaps and Chiff-Chaffs are singing loudly whilst the Blue Tits and the larger Great Tits are busy checking out the bird boxes kindly donated by the Len Pick Trust. They really are “des-res” (desirable residences) particularly for the tit species though we may have Nuthatches or bees in them again. If I were the birds I would get cracking and move in before somebody else does! No such thing as being on a housing waiting list- they just occupy first come first served!

I have seen Red Kites flying low over the wood margins- magnificent birds especially when seen close up. Almost as big as a door yet they soar through the air with the finest of control with their long tails. One landed in the tree not far away, seeming to look at me with a piercing stare. The yellow hooked beak and curved talons all implied “King of the Patch”. After ten minutes he flew off lazily with slow wing beats powerfully giving the lift required.

This week the first Cuckoos have started calling in the wood, and at least one Nightingale is singing by the ponds. I can smell the Cow Parsley and can feel the cool damp air on my skin. All senses rejuvenated and with a dog content after her walk I felt inspired to write this article and share with you some of the joys of Bourne Woods!

Bourne Wood: A Portrayal of a Wood in Kesteven

There is evidence that the current wood formed part of a larger area of woodland and forest around Bourne and in Morton and Edenham parishes referred to in the Domesday Book of c.1086. This formed part of a much larger expanse of woodland and forest stretching as far as Northamptonshire known as Brunneswald or Bromswold. Around this time, the major landowner in Bourne was Oger the Breton whose holding was likely to have included most of Bourne Wood. Continue reading Bourne Wood: A Portrayal of a Wood in Kesteven