Sunday, November 25, 2007

A Mossy Bank

A Mossy Bank (Forest of Dean Trail - Stop 2)

From Black Penny Wall Well follow the trail down the hill.

You are entering a plantation of Christmas Trees (Norway Spruce), planted in 1937.

In front is a mossy bank beneath a Sweet Chestnut tree. This tree arises as a number of stems from its base. Originally a tree was cut down and its re-growth has produced this effect. Frequently, the young long stems are cut to use for fencing, but here this stage is long past.

Have you ever wondered what makes a moss, a moss? You never see flowers on a moss. You may be fortunate enough to see a number of spore cases standing tall on the moss plants. These produce tiny structures – spores – which blow in the wind and may, if landing on the right soil, grow into new moss plants.

As you go down the ride between the dense woods, you may in muddy places, see the footprints or slots, of the fallow deer that are to be found here. You will also see how, beneath the Norway Spruce plantation, there is almost no vegetation. Only in the driveway are there any green plants growing.

Why do you think this is?

This text was written by B. V. Cave of the Wilderness Wildlife Centre Mitcheldean for the Forestry Commission 'Boy's Grave and Forest Trail'.

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