End of the 2016 season!

Christine Tansey's picture

With the summer solstice comes the realisation that spring in the woods has been left far behind, and we have reached midsummer. Our woodlands will now be darker, greener, full of rustling leaves and other life for the rest of the growing season. It also means it is time to thank all of you who have been out recording for Track a Tree this year!

My last visit to the woods came after a very warm week, the sun had dried out the last of the muddy paths and practically all of the ground flora had gone over. Instead of carpets of blue and white, the bluebells had become spikes of globular seeds and the ramsons stars had lost their petals. I always enjoy making one last recording trip after my trees are entirely in leaf, as it gives me the chance to witness the quiet disappearance of the flowers I have been counting for weeks.


By early June in my wood at Roslin Glen, water avens had started flowering in the damper hollows, hawthorn boughs were laden with blossom and elderflowers were just beginning to bloom. When I looked up, the signs of invertebrate herbivores were everywhere, as many of the leaves of oak and hazel had constellations of holes. It was great to see caterpillars on some of the branches, and wonder how many would end up as food for the chicks of great and blue tits.

On my return from making my final observations I settled down to input the last of my records on our website, and if you have yet to send in your own, please do so when you can. The records we have received so far can be seen on our results page, so please take a look to see how spring in the woods 2016 turned out. Below you can see the records for first flowering of lesser celandine:


I’d like to once again thank everyone who has taken part this year, and those of you who have followed the progress of the project. It has been a more challenging spring for me, as I (attempted) to balance writing my thesis with making sure Track a Tree would continue in 2016. I’m now nearing the end of the writing process, and will be then be able to write a fuller account of my findings, as well develop our ideas about the future of Track a Tree. Do keep an eye out for updates on the project, but in the meantime, enjoy the many shades of a woodland summer!