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Wednesday, 12 August 2009

12/8/09: Joydens Wood - more botanical 'firsts'

I took a long 'detour' up Parsonage Lane and through Joydens Wood, on the way home from Foots Cray Meadows to Barnehurst, first skirting the southern margin of the wood before heading north, then broadly north west to come out by the Keeper's Cottage - proceeding from there to Vicarage Rd in Bexley village.

This generated some species completely new to me, as well as some that I hadn't found in or adjacent to Bexley Borough to date.

In fact the wood straddles the border between the London Borough of Bexley, and the Borough of Dartford in Kent. Planted with Corsican Pine, it was owned by the Forestry Commission, but is now in the hands of the Woodland Trust:

Plantation Pines with Silver Birch and Bracken. There were limited numbers of Gorse and Broom at various locations along my route

Wide, often well-lit rides, with damp - sometimes ditched - margins, supported a varied array of herbaceous species

Immediatly upon entering the wood I noticed a considerable amount of Brooklime spilling over the pathway, a feature that was to prove typical of the rides I followed. An early 'spot' of a species new to me was this grey-leaved Marsh Cudweed, of which there were a few plants in each of a couple of locations.

There was a fair amount of Greater Bird's-foot Trefoil (Lotus pedunculatus) in several places. This has more flowers per head, is hairy, has hollow stems and a looser, more rambling habit, when compared with Bird's-foot Trefoil (L. corniculatus). Another plant I've not come across before.

This Wood Ant's nest was spotted close to a path.

This plant is the native Golden Rod (Solidago vigaurea), not to be confused with the very different-looking Canadian version that has naturalised in many places.

A one point there was a couple of yards of this Lily-of-the-valley, in fruit, lining the edge of a ride.
A single plant of Betony was noticed hidden amongst other vegetation on a ditch bank, a new Bexley (borders) species for me.

There were a few patches of Water Mint (Mentha aquatica) and Upright Hedge Parsley (Torilis japonica), these species seen mingling together here. The latter was another first for me in this part of the world.

This Guelder Rose, with some fruits, was growing at the edge of a ride towards the north-west corner of the wood, and was the only specimen I came across.

Some of the other species noted along the margins of the rides were Thyme-leaved Speedwell (1), Self Heal, Wood Spurge, Wood Sage, Common Figwort, Enchanter's Nightshade, Coltsfoot and both Tufted Vetch (1) and Bush Vetch (several close together, all in one particular location), these being only my second records of these latter two species in the vicinity of Bexley Borough.

I'm sure there's plenty more of interest to find, and will endeavour to visit again in the not too distant future.

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