Ashwellthorpe Wood and The Hethel Thorn, 17 April 2022

Our Easter Sunday walk was around Ashwellthorpe Wood where I was surprised that the access has changed. A footbridge has been removed making access more tricky. Maybe the NWT want people to access it from somewhere else? Who knows!

Anyway, having gained access I was pleased to find a few Early Purple Orchids in flower but not many yet. Other than that it was the usual early spring woodland culprits although Water Avens was my first of the year. 

After doing the whole wood circuit we re-located to Hethel church for lunch and to admire the famous Hethel Thorn. This ancient Common Hawthorn dates from the 1300s and is regarded as one of the oldest in the country. It is managed by the NWT as the smallest nature reserve in the UK - just the one tree! We followed that up with a long walk west through the woods to the Lotus site and then back via some meadows where I found a False Oxlip (Cowslip x Primrose hybrid). Holly Blue, Orange Tip and Large White were also seen plus a new bee for me - Tawny Mining Bee. Birdwise it was quiet but a singing Common Whitethroat in brambles near Lotus and a drumming Great Spotted Woodpecker were nice. 

                                                                                                                                 Early Purple Orchid

                                                                                                                                    The Hethel Thorn
                                                                                                                                     False Oxlip


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