Also, check out our new film about the project (below), find out about the launch of our monthly Woodland Explorers Club with the National Trust, and see what free training opportunities and ID workshops are coming up!
Take part in Plymouth’s ‘Woodland Plant Trail’ and help conserve threatened woodland plants and wildlife:
In particular we are trying to find out how different plants respond to levels of shading by the tree canopy above. This will help us understand how to manage the woods to promote the conservation of native woodland plants, which in turn will help our insect pollinators such as bees and butterflies, and ultimately animals such as birds and bats.
Training dates - woodland plant ID and survey skills:
Saturday 24th May, 10am-1pm at Radford Woods
Tuesday 27th May, 10am-1pm at Ham Woods
Wednesday 4th June, 10am-1pm at Plymbridge Woods
To support people taking part in this survey we will be running these free training sessions. These sessions will give you an introduction to woodland plant ecology and equip you with the skills to identify key woodland plant species and to take part in the survey. To book, please get in touch through our contact form.
NEW Woodland Explorers Club!
The Plymouth Woodland Project and National Trust at Plym Valley have teamed up to launch a new monthly club for young people with an interest in natural history and the outdoors. Woodland Explorers combines science, wildlife ID, bushcraft, art and outdoor skills to deliver a year-round programme of fun and educational activities for children and young people.
The club is free of charge, and will take place at the National Trust’s Plymbridge Woods, one Saturday a month from 10-1pm.
So far, the dates are confirmed for April to October and are: 12th April, 10th May, 7th June, 12th July, 9th August, 13th Sept and 11th Oct. If you would like to find out more or book a place on any sessions, please get in touch using our contact form.
For further details of upcoming activities and events, including more training opportunities, check out our What's On section.
Check out our Education Pack for schools to support teaching on habitats, food webs, invertebrates and scientific enquiry. Schools can also book the Plymouth Woodland Project scientist for free to run curriclum-linked sessions in your local woods.
What does a healthy woodland plant community look like?
In ancient woodland, there is a mixture of young and old trees. As old trees die back their crowns become thin, and more light can reach the ground. When trees die, they create gaps, where new seedlings can germinate, and light loving plants can flourish. In shadier patches, shade-tolerant plants will grow. A healthy wood usually has a range of different light environments, meaning a greater diversity of plants, and a greater diversity of insects and other animals that depend on them.
How have woodland plant communities changed?
In recent decades, we have lost much ancient woodland, and there has been an increase in new plantations. Trees are often planted too close together, and are all the same age, and this can mean the woods are very shady. Other things have also changed. In many places, woodland soils have become richer in nutrients, as atmospheric pollution is deposited in the soil. This can allow faster growing plants, previously unable to survive the nutrient-poor conditions, to out-compete some slower growing woodland specialists. Non-native invasive plants may also start to take over, invading from nearby gardens or from garden waste disposed of inappropriately.
How can you help?
Take part in the Woodland Plant Trail! To take part, contact us using the contact form on our website, and we will send you everything you need.