This blog is written by employees of Nottinghamshire County Council, the views in this blog are personal and may not be shared by the County Council.

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

New beginnings

As May turns to June Rufford Rangers are having to change the way they operate. From the 1st of June our colleagues from Bestwood Country Park will be joining us here at Rufford to run both parks together from one base so we hope you will join us in offering a warm welcome to Steve, Rob and Steve. The next few months will be interesting as all the team get to know one another and settle in to their new surroundings and new routines. There are many differences between the parks so it will take some time for them to get to know the areas, habitats and wildlife.

Monday, 23 May 2016

Tree of the Week

LIME - Tilia x europaea

Native to the UK, the common Lime is a hybrid between Small-leaved and Large leaved Limes. Common lime is most often seen as an ornamental tree in large parks and estates. Here at Rufford, the lime trees make up what was once the old driveway, from the Western gates main entrance (A614) to the Abbey's grand doors.
(During the war, lime blossom was used to make a soothing tea).

  • Look out for the heart shaped leaves. Usually 6-10cm,  toothed on the outer side and dull green in colour.
  • The bark is a grey-brown, with ridges appearing on more mature trees and large burrs (abnormal growth) at the base of the tree.

Monday, 16 May 2016

Cygnets again.

Good news again this year, the Swan has had 7 cygnets and they are all in good health.

Also seen on site today was a female Orange-Tip Butterfly on Red Campion.

Here is a close up of one of the cygnets.

Saturday, 14 May 2016

Tree of the Week

HORNBEAM - Carpinus Betulus

The Hornbeam, horn meaning 'hard' and beam 'tree' in old English, is traditionally used for furniture and flooring due to it's hard wood, as it's name suggests. Native to Britain it is a deciduous (leaves fall in winter) broadleaf tree, growing up to 30m tall and 300 years old.

  • Look out for it's smooth grey bark, often developing  vertical fissures (cracks) as it ages. The leaves are oval and pointed with serrated edges and grows 7-12cm long. In Autumn the leaves look particularly attractive, turning yellow through to orange and then a reddish- brown. 
  •  In the Autumn, Finches and tits along with small mammals will eat the seeds. The plant is also food for caterpillars of many different moth species, including the nut tree tussock.

Saturday, 7 May 2016

Tree of the Week

SYCAMORE - Acer Pseudoplatanus

Sycamore is a fast growing and sometimes invasive tree, it tends to dominate woodlands blocking other species out. It can grow up to 35m and live to 400 years old. The timber is used for making furniture and kitchenware as the wood is strong and does not taint or stain the food. 

  • Look out for the bright green leaves in spring, they can often be mistaken for maple. They have five lobes (called palmate leaves) with spikey edges.
  • The bark is a grey like colour, broken up by numerous fissures (cracks) revealing an orange texture underneath.

Wednesday, 4 May 2016

A few recent happenings

The swallows have arrived back!! They have returned from Africa and taken up residence in last years nest. Kingfisher cam caught.....no Kingfishers but instead this appeared. It is a Female Sparrowhawk.

Whilst waiting for contractors to arrive on site I also took these, copper Beech leaves and a panoramic of the Abbey.