Tag Archives: forest

Yuccas…

Yuccas on the fringe of Newborough Forest.

Yuccas on the fringe of Newborough Forest.

Apparently when the Forestry Commission first planted at Newborough, they indulged themselves by planting a diverse range of non-commercial species as well as the main conifer plantation. Amongst the various species planted were yuccas. Around the fringes of the forest, you still find the occasional yucca growing: whether they originate from those first plantings or are later arrivals, I don’t know.

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Wild cherries: a bumper crop

This year is so good for the cherries they are managing to ripen fully on the trees before the birds get round to eating them.

 

really ripe cherries

In parts of the forest, the tracks are littered with fallen fruits.

cherries on the path2

And there are still lots more to come.

lots of cherries

Some of the “wild” apple trees are bearing lots of fruit too.

wild apples2

Closer to the seaward edge on the western side of the forest, things are looking very dry and scorched.

The trees were already dead: there are lots of dead trees around the edges of the forest, trees that couldn't cope with the harsh conditions on the sandiest soils, blasted by the salt laden winds. They now provide valuable habitats for wildlife.

The trees were already dead: there are lots of dead trees around the edges of the forest, trees that couldn’t cope with the harsh conditions on the sandiest soils, blasted by the salt laden winds. They now provide valuable habitats for wildlife.

 

Go West – the furthest point of the forest

The westerly edge of Newborough Forest is the least visited, because it is the furthest from anywhere. From any of the car parks, or the village, it is about (or at least) a 2.5 mile walk. If you like nature and open views, it’s worth it.

This is where one of the trails, the one from the Malltraeth car park, emerges from the forest

This is where one of the trails, the one from the Malltraeth car park, emerges from the forest

and looking the other way, across the salt marsh and the dunes. You can get across the marsh and dunes and onto the sands of Malltraeth Bay.

and looking the other way, across the salt marsh and the dunes. You can cross the marsh and dunes to get onto the sands of Malltraeth Bay.

Looking from Malltraeth sands along Penrhos beach to Llanddwyn Island with the hills of the Llyn peninsula in the background

Looking from Malltraeth sands along Penrhos beach to Llanddwyn Island with the hills of the Llyn peninsula in the background

 

 

Newborough: a forest of many trees…

Approaching Newborough Forest from the Malltraeth Cob

Approaching Newborough Forest from the Malltraeth Cob

That seems like a silly title – of course a forest has many trees, but what I meant in particular is that Newborough Forest contains many different kinds of trees. It isn’t “just a pine forest”, although it certainly has lots of pines. It also has a diverse range of other species of trees too, including a wide range of broadleaves. Eagle eyed tree spotters can look out for:

Corsican pine – Pinus nigra ssp laricio. This is the tree most often planted and represented over 90% of the canopy in 2010 – management operations mean that percent is now somewhat lower.

Other pines to look out for (including some relatively unusual ones) are:
Maritime pine – Pinus pinaster
Macedonian pine – Pinus peuce
Lodgepole pine – Pinus contorta
Weymouth pine – Pinus strobus
Monterey pine – Pinus radiata
Bishop pine – Pinus muricata
Virginia pine – Pinus virginiana
Japanese red pine – Pinus densiflora
Jeffrey pine – Pinus jeffreyi
Scots pine – Pinus sylvestris
Stone pine – Pinus pinea

And, it isn’t just pines. Other conifers include:
Sitka spruce – Picea sitchensis
Norway spruce – Picea abies

Caucasian fir – Abies nordmanniana
Grand fir – Abies grandis
Noble fir – Abies procera

Monterey cypress – Cupressus macrocarpa

Western hemlock – Tsuga heterophylla

Western red cedar – Thuja plicata
Japanese red cedar – Cryptomeria japonica

Japanese larch – Larix kaempferi

Yew – Taxus baccata

And, there are also lots of broadleaves, more in some areas than others. They include:
Cherry – Prunus avium
Birch – Betula spp
Holly – Ilex aquifolium
Hawthorn – Crataegus monogyna
Sycamore – Acer pseudoplatanus
Rowan – Sorbus aucuparia
Ash – Fraxinus excelsior
Walnut – Juglans regia
Oak – Quercus petraea
Holm oak – Quercus ilex
Hazel – Corylus avellana
Apple – Malus
Crab apple – Malus sylvestris
Poplar (balsam) – Populus X
Elder – Sambucus nigra
Tamarisk – Tamarix
Willow – Salix
Alder – Alnus glutinosa
Elm – Ulmus
Spindle tree – Euonymus europaeus
Horse chestnut – Aesculus hippocastum
Sweet chestnut – Castanea sativa
Himalayan cotoneaster – Cotoneaster simonsii (one of the targets for eradication by the Forestry Commission as they consider it too invasive)

And that is by no means an exhaustive list. Happy tree spotting!

Newborough Forest tree spotting checklist (this is a pdf listing of most of the trees in the forest, that you can download and print. 283KB)

When the snow comes down to the sea

It doesn’t happen very often. And when it does, it doesn’t last for long. But when the snow comes down to the sea, Newborough Beach and Forest, and Llanddwyn Island become especially magical.

Llanddwyn Island in the snow

Llanddwyn Island in the snow

Penrhos beach in the snow

Penrhos beach in the snow

The main forest car park in the snow

The main forest car park in the snow

The tide coming in under the snow

The tide coming in under the snow

Froglets galore

Each summer, usually around midsummer’s day, thousands of froglets emerge from the pools and lakes around Newborough. In a good year (for the frogs), walking becomes more like dancing as you try to make your way without stepping on a little froglet.

Froglets on the track by Llyn Parc Mawr - I missed circling one, top left.

Froglets on the track by Llyn Parc Mawr – I missed circling one, top left – they’re not easy to see.

Froglet

Froglet (I’m not even sure that is a word!)

The froglets are so small, a lot of people don’t even notice what is under their feet, you can imagine the consequences…

 

Newborough squirrels

Newborough is famous (at least locally) for its red squirrels. It isn’t too unusual to see them when walking in the forest. Usually you will actually hear them before you see them: hear their sharp little nails scratching on the tree bark as they scamper away. If you scratch your own nails against the bark, you’ll get an idea of the sound to listen out for.

babysquirrel

Young red squirrel

However, it is unusual for me to either have a camera with me and / or to be able to capture a half-decent photograph of one of our red squirrels. Here’s one of a baby who was too scared to move away. The other is a bit of a cheat as it shows a squirrel in one of the compounds in the forest.

Red squirrel in compound

Red squirrel in compound

(nb that compound is no longer here – it’s quite an old photograph)

If you are visiting and want a good chance of seeing one of the squirrels, the Llyn Parc Mawr car park and picnic area is worth a try (OS GR SH414669).  The squirrels (and birds) are fed there and have become quite confident. It’s best to go early as they make themselves scarce if the car park becomes busy. The Forestry Commission’s information sheet is available here (pdf) which shows the car parks and forest trails etc.