Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Hogsmill Wood

This small block of woodland just to the north of Kingston by-pass called Hogsmill Wood Nature Reserve has remained locked for many years. From within it gives a different perspective on the Hogsmill river, although the recent in channel improvements can only just be seen due to the high water level.Features of interest include a  old oak trees and elder scrub with  little understorey except ivy accounting for the close canopy of the woodland.
London Wildlife Trust did negotiate a management agreement with Kingston Council many years ago. Unfortunately, little or no recent management has been carried out for wildlife and the woodland character has been harmed by the removal of mature oaks, thought to have been causing subsidence to a neighbouring property. Thames Water require access to pipework, which extends through the woodland from time to time. During our visit several species of fungi were noted especially those characteristic of elder and elm. There always seems to be roving foraging parties of tits and  great spotted woodpeckers whenever I visit. A half eaten rat attested to the value of urban foxes as a pest controller. Dog violet and cow parsley were already in flower.

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