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2 Posts tagged with the cherry_tree_survey tag
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Last week, on 1 April to be precise, our lovely Wildlife Garden unlocked its gates once more for the public open season. The acre of meadows, chalklands and ponds flanked by trees and garden 'office' sheds are bursting forth with spring life.

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Bird cherry blossom has just started to appear in the Wildlife Garden

I popped in earlier in the week to get a breath of fresh air and chat to Caroline, the garden's manager, who took me round to point out the signs of new life.

 

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There are pretty primroses, cowslips and wood anenomes peeping out here and there and the first few bluebells. The blackthorn, Wild cherry and Bird cherry trees are all beginning to blossom.

 

'Frogs arrived in the pond around the middle of March,' recalls Caroline, continuing 'and we saw the first frog spawn around the 22nd. The toad spawn came a few days later. Toads usually follow frogs.' We lean over the large freshwater pond to observe the mush of spawn clinging to the watery bank and spot a solitary moorhen on one of the islands.

 

It's a busy time for nesting birds, but this spring the moorhen has made her nest outside in the open in front of the nesting box provided. Caroline fears for the vulnerability of the nesting family, but won't interfere.

 

I learn that the first holly blue butterfly was seen in the last couple of weeks and the trees resound with the chatter of green finches and magpies.

 

Caroline and her team have been busy getting ready for the public opening of the garden and planning this year's seasonal garden activities and monthly family weekend events. The first weekend event, Spring Wildlife, is on 8 May, so check the website for more information and updates nearer the time.

 

The Wildlife Garden is not only a place for our visitors to enjoy in the spring, summer and autumn. It's also an urban habitat where we record, identify and conserve species. During the winter months, the Wildlife Garden team have been busy coppicing, pollarding, hedge-laying, weeding and planting to extend woodland areas.You'll see signs of their labours when you visit.

 

Find out about the Wildlife Garden on our website


Take part in our bluebell survey this year

 

Join our cherry tree survey

 

Read our latest news story about bluebells

Enjoy some recent early spring photos of the Wildlife Garden. See some of the species you might spot if you visit soon. Select images to enlarge them

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Nesting moorhen... tread quietly round the pond

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Common toad tadpoles will emerge in the ponds soon

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Marsh marigolds by the pond

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Blackthorn blossom

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Cowslips

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The first of the bluebells, these ones look like native bluebells to me...

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Willow
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Greater stitchwort

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Primroses

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The last daffodil blooms

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I'm completely in awe of trees. Especially the trees that flourish, magically, amidst the concrete and bricks, and the metal, rubber and glass of London's busy streets, where I live and work.

 

So I'm very happy to be telling you about our new online Urban tree survey. This nationwide survey, that launched on Friday 16 July, will be one of the biggest tree surveys ever.

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A Judas tree in Cambridge © Andrew Dunn. This was our Species of the day to mark the launch of the Urban tree survey.

Although we know a lot about Britain's rural tree population, relatively little is known about the trees in urban areas. We're being invited to record particularly what's in our private gardens and local streets and parks of urban Britain, so our scientists and botanists can build a picture of what trees are growing where, and also find out how the urban tree population is changing.

 

Our survey focuses on 80 different types of tree normally associated with an urban environment.

 

I'm told that one of our most widespread trees is the sycamore, and in urban areas, the closely related norway maple may be as common or more so. These species were introduced to the UK. But we don't have actual numbers for the most common trees, only data on which are most widespread.

 

There are lots of resources on the Urban tree survey website to help with tree identification and advice on how to take part in the survey.

 

I recommend watching the Identify trees video first, which shows you what things to look out for to identify your trees correctly. Especially enjoyable because it's filmed in Holland Park, one of London's best parks in my opinion.

 

trees-leaves.jpgTo record your findings on the survey, choose an area you want to survey first, and think about the things you'll need to consider before you start recording your trees. For example, are the tree leaves hairy? Are they needle-like or scale-like, broad or lobed? What about fruits or cones? Petals, twigs, bark and importantly what does it smell like? The Tree identification key which you can download and take with you, will help with all this. You can check your identification using our online interactive identification key.

 

Read the news story about the Urban tree survey for some fascinating facts about the survey and our knowledge of trees.

 

Explore the lovely Judas tree Species of the day that marked the launch of the survey and is the main photo above. It's also featured in the survey. Now where did it get its name, I wonder?

Are these leaves from an elder or ash? Check your tree knowledge on the survey's ID key chart

The Urban tree survey will run for 3 years and our Cherry tree survey launched this spring is part of it.

 

Leaves image © Università di Trieste, Dipartimento di Biologia. Photo: Andrea Moro