Today’s walk through the woods

The woodland on the hillside between the Ensay Burn and the farmhouse is known as Atlantic Hazel Woodland. It apparently has one of the highest densities of Hazel Glove Fungus growing within it to be found anywhere. The wood was featured on BBC Landward when they were doing a programme about Atlantic Hazel Woodlands.

Today I walked through the wood, catching glimpses of a Hare, who ran in front of me, as I fought my way through the undergrowth and brambles. I saw him several times during the course of my scramble. I wasn’t looking for the fungus today, just enjoying being in the trees, and looking through the spindly branches at the view down to the sea.

Atlantic-Hazel-woodland

Looking at other fungus.

Mull-fungus-woodland

The relentless storms during recent weeks have taken their toll, and as I was walking I was thinking about the way the woodland changes with catastrophe. I really will miss this hazel coppice which has blown over this winter. You can see the thicker older growth, some of it the size of a mature hazel. The younger shoots which have grown up since we fenced livestock out of the woodland. Over it has gone now, its root plate lying at a 90 degree angle to the earth now. Will parts of it survive? Perhaps. Time will tell and we will wait and see. Farmer was reading about the importance of decay as a habitat, so this ‘stool’ will have a use for some time to come as it decays and becomes a different habitat supporting a new variety of insects and bugs. I still feel a little sad when I see another tree that has fallen victim to the winds, even though I understand the process.

Mull-windfall-hazel

Mull-woodland-fungus

And finally out of the woods, looking over the tree tops to the calm sea.

Treshnish-sea-view