These cuttings usually take root very well and will grow into small, shrubby willows with silvery, downy underneaths to their leaves.
Wildflowers in the Forest
The large extraction forest track which was created when conifers were taken out of Knockman Wood in 2005 is, by all accounts, not the prettiest part of the walk around the woods.
To try and improve the visual aspects of this area, as well as creating a valuable wildlife habitat, CVCWT volunteers have been gradually carrying out the planting of birch and hawthorn along the wide, grassy area on the east side of the track and, more recently have also sown a Scottish wildflower seed mix along the bare bank-sides.
The trees will form an avenue which will break up the harsh edge of the conifers and eventually provide habitat and food sources for birds. The hawthorn blossom will also be very popular with invertebrates such as hoverflies.
The wildflower mix contains 19 types of wildflowers all chosen as their flowers or seeds attract bees, butterflies and birds. Most of the flowers are perennials and will flower year after year giving supplies of pollen and nectar for many invertebrates such as bumblebees, butterflies and hoverflies.
The seeds were germinating within one week of sowing and hopefully by 2012 we should see a colourful display which will brighten the entrance to this spectacular oak woodland. Foxgloves are already naturally establishing themselves along the side of the track and are buzzing with visiting bumblebees.