Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Denge Wood

One of the loveliest nature reserves in East Kent is in Denge Wood, part of the badlands between Ashford, Canterbury and Folkestone. A drawback to this wood, which contains a wealth of flora and fauna, is its maze of paths which always get me lost. We tried a different way in on the weekend, from the lovely hamlet of Garlinge Green, through a farm and down an old hollow lane.
Windflowers (wood anemones) and lesser celandines were stunning as they greeted the unaccustomed sunlight, let in by the recent coppicing of Sweet Chestnut trees.
Further down, the track proceeds through beech woods, then gives onto the open space of the Warren where a great spotted woodpecker and chiffchaffs could be heard.
Across the Warren there is a profusion of primroses, only just emerging, and these are the foodplant of Duke of Burgundy Fritillaries that will be emerging in a month or so.
The Warren and Bonsai Bank a little further down the valley are superb for orchids later in the year, and already the first leaves are starting to show.
Wild Strawberry plants were peeking through, with promise of sweet things to come. Correction by one who knows - it's Barren, not Wild, Strawberry. So an empty promise.
Over the Chartham downs, two buzzards cavorted, and - on the Monday morning trip to work - a single one was standing in a field close to the road at Ringwould.


Steve Gale said...

Hi Kingdowner, the pictures of the strawberry are of Barren Strawberry. The end tooth of the leaf is shorter than those either side of it. In Wild Strawberry the end tooth is longer. The woods are stirring!

Kingsdowner said...

Thanks Steve....so no sweet promise for the future then - darnit!

Mary said...

I like the hollow lane shot. All those lovely wildflowers already! Makes me want to go walk in the woods, but it is rainy here today.

Greenie said...

Steve ,
I only know the Bonsai Bank part , mainly for the orchids and DoB .
I agree with you , it is a lovely place .
No doubt I will be making the pilgrimage for the 'Duke' , when it's time comes .
Like the alternative name for the Wood Anemones , never heard that before , even my ancient wild flower book doesn't mention Windflowers .
I too like the hollow lane shot .

NW Nature Nut said...

Wonderful wildflowers you have. The anemones are thick!

Adam said...

Steve's right - it's barren strawberry (Potentilla sterlis) not wild strawberry (Fragria vesca in the UK), coming from a Strawberry Breeder! There's a lot of look alikes out there. The petals don't meet on the Potentilla.

Adam (DittonEastMallingBarmingBlog)

Warren Baker said...

Looks like one of them olde worlde places, full of natural history, and hidden secrets!

ravenjungle said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
ravenjungle said...

Hello i bring strawberry news in Aug 2008 myself and a close friend were in a copiced area of denge wood we like to visit when we stumbled across a patch of wild strawberries some were bright red and ready to eat (so we did and they were sweet) the others were young green and small. I took a picture to prove to my other friends what we had found, my camera says 2nd Aug 2008. I have attached the picture to my profile so hopefully you can see the one i eat. There are many edible plants out there although i havent stumbled across wild garlic yet but im sure its there somewere.

Kingsdowner said...

Thanks for the comments Raven - hopefully the flowers of Wild Strawberries will appear soon, and that there will be sweet snacks in the summer!