Members Reports and Photos
SATURDAY 28 SEPTEMBER 2013
Mixed Woodland and Upland Boggy PasturE
LEADER: MARY CARSON
and Photographs: Pat Lenihan
Wood, tucked off the busy N11 and situated on the slopes above the village, was
the venue for a morning, autumnal stroll with Mary Carson.
The outing began when our leader, well equipped with maps and brochures, put the site in its historical context. The woodland, with its rich variety of conifer and native and introduced broadleaf trees, was originally part of the Newtownmountkennedy Estate. Strands of Beech and Spanish Chestnut characterise the older planting by the Estate. The coniferous woodland has its origins in commercial planting of Sitka Spruce, Norway Spruce, Japanese Larch, and Monterey Pine by the Forestry Service. The woodland is now commercially managed by Coillte and is part of the Newtownmountkennedy Neighbourhood Scheme whose aim is to enhance the conservation value of the site and to provide a recreational resource. There are three well marked trails, one of which is wheelchair friendly.
wood is an arboreal delight and on our visit, aided by the generous assistance
of our leader, we paused frequently to identify an unfamiliar leaf here or an
unusual trunk there. Ash, Beech, Lime, Oak, Lime, Spanish Chestnut, Spruce, and
Pine form the canopy, whereas Alder and Willow dominate the river bank.
woodland is also the site of a fine strand of Cherry Trees which were planted by
Coillte to assess the performance of different varieties. Cherry is a native
species whose wood is high quality and is used in the manufacture of high
quality furniture and musical instruments.
Hawthorn, Holly, Hazel and Gorse provide a typical understorey cover with
climbers such as Ivy and Honeysuckle much in evidence. Buddleia and Raspberry,
garden escapees, also find refuge in the woodland. For many the highlight of the
day was our sight of Leycesteria formosa (Pheasant Berry), a delightful
Himalayan exotic which was bedecked with long pointed leaves, creamy-white
flowers, and purple berries.
dense planted areas preclude the growth of an abundant ground flora, although
there were small patches of Angelica sylvestris, Geum urbanum, Conopodium
majus and Epilobium species some of which were in flower.
Fungi were few and far between, but lurking in the shadows were a few snowy
white specimens of Lycoperdon perlatum.
In the afternoon, we adjourned a few miles up the road to Glendarragh to a patch of upland boggy pasture. The Glen enclosed by stone walls, more reminiscent of the West of Ireland, is one of the lesser know Glens of Wicklow. Here our fungal foray was more productive. Specimens were classified by genera and, as time did not allow for further study, collected for more detailed examination later.
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