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Image by Drew Dau

NATURE TRAIL 2

Small leaved Lime, Tilia cordata.

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One of the most common tree species in this wood is the small leaved lime, which can be identified by its heart shaped leaves which have a red fuzz on the underside at the vein joints.

 

They are a great tree for wildlife, providing masses of pollen and nectar from their flowers. Their leaves are also the main foodplant for several moth species, including the lime hawk moth, Mimas tiliae. It is also a popular food source for aphids, and although this is not good for the tree, it is great for the predators of aphids which include many bird species, hoverflies, and ladybirds.

 

The small leaved lime is an indicator of ancient woodland, as they don’t grow well from seed and so spread very slowly. The high number of limes here show that these slopes have been a woodland for a long time!

 

Many of the trees here show signs of having been ‘worked’ in the past by humans, either by coppicing, where the tree is cut at the ground and then regrows from there, or pollarding, where the tops of the tree are cut and the regrowth comes from the old trunk.

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