P is for... Plant life

Patrick Jefferies 

Brockholes Nature Reserve has an abundance of plant life throughout the year. From trees and shrubs to grasses and wildflowers the nature reserve is a rich tapestry of diverse plant life.
Autumn Reflections

Dave Bennion 

Boilton wood illustrates the diversity of plant life on offer at Brockholes, the ancient woodland is made up of a vast array of tree species, and during the spring is draped in a majestic carpet of bluebells. Although, bluebells are common place in woodland around the British Isles, this does little to diminish their awe inspiring beauty. And Boilton wood is the perfect place to admire one of nature’s great sights. With tall and noble beech trees and powerful English oak, Boilton wood is picture perfect throughout the year, however it is particularly endearing during the autumn months when it transforms into a spectacular image of muted coppers and orange.

Reed Bed

Brockholes Nature Reserve however is not solely made up of woodland, the sprawling wetlands also offer extensive breeding space for plant life of all varieties. One particularly interesting example, is the common reed, although widespread and somewhat taken for granted. This marvellous plant is essential to much of the wildlife which resides within the wetlands. With their tall golden stems, they provide invaluable habitat for threatened species such as Bittern, Marsh Harrier and Bearded Tit. Also rather wonderfully reeds play a vital role in the cleaning and filtration of water. This takes place as water slowly trickles through the reed bed where it is inadvertently treated by micro-organisms, resulting in clean water.

Blackthorn

Finally, the wonderfully intricate blackthorn, a member of the rose family can be found scattered across the reserve. With its dark dense bark and purple fleshy fruit it is not only an aesthetically pleasing plant it is an important part of the woodland for wildlife. Various types of moth such as the emperor and mottled pug rely on the plants extensive foliage as they forage for food. However, despite this impressive resume it is maybe best known for its fleshy fruit ‘sloe’, which is regularly used to flavour gin.