A deadwood log lies aside a footpath walk through a sunny 'bluebell wood' at Grappenhall Heys, Warrington, Cheshire in Autumn
Contributor:John Hopkins / Alamy Stock Photo
File size:56.8 MB (5 MB Compressed download)
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Dimensions:3639 x 5459 px | 30.8 x 46.2 cm | 12.1 x 18.2 inches | 300dpi
Date taken:11 November 2010
Location:Bluebell wood, Grappenhall Heys, Warrington, Cheshire, England
Soils appear to be variable from sandy loam to pockets of heavy clay and mudstones in the lower lying areas. This compartment lies to the east of the shelterbelt. It contains mature and over mature beech with occasional horse chestnut, pedunculate oak, birch, pine, large leaved lime with some under planted hazel, hawthorn, and rowan. There is a significant amount of rhododendron through this compartment. There are significant levels of both fallen and standing deadwood and tree safety programmes have tried to enhance this in recent years. The ground flora is somewhat sporadic with occasional pockets of bluebell, lesser celandine and a good deal of bramble. There is a linear footpath running through the compartment (part of the Mersey Valley Timberland Trail long distance footpath). This has recently been diverted from the wetland area via a section of steps and a boardwalk. There is also a significant pond/ marl pit complex in the centre of the compartment. The large central pond has recently (2002) been de-silted and re-profiled in an effort to improve public safety and enhance biodiversity. In addition a new outfall ditch has been constructed to enable water levels to be regulated more effectively. There is also a small balancing pond nearby that is used to regulate storm water flow from the new housing development next to the site. Finally there is a small season pool to the west of the main pond. This appears to dry out completely in the summer and is useful addition to the wetland mosaic.