Continuing our programme of Walks and Talks on Highgate Trees we had a fascinating ramble in Queen’s Wood led by Jeff Duckett, our local expert on trees and, more specifically, the botany of trees.
It was that time in April when we had hail in the morning, so feared no one would turn up. Then the sun came out and about 20 of us met at the Queens Wood Café. Lucy Roots from the Friends of Queens Wood guided us to the most interesting spots where Jeff was able to show us the wild pear, very unusual apparently and the wild service tree, a sign of ancient woodland.
Queens Wood is blessed with at least thirty of them. We also learned to tell rushes from sedges; rushes have a round cross section and sedges have a triangular cross section – really – try it. We now know not to eat the beautiful wood anemones which were flowering in great masses, nor its relative the celandine, with its bright yellow flower lifting our spirits though apparently the young shoots of clematis are tasty. (Warning: ONLY the shoots).
We saw how coppicing had opened up spaces to a burst of wild flowers, young saplings and insects. The ponds have been planted up and are attracting their own mini ecosystems. All this accompanied by spring birdsong. We have to thank Jeff and everybody else for giving us such pleasure and delight from visiting Queens Wood.
The Tree Group of Highgate Neighbourhood Forum.
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