• Cows on Sheep's Green, Coe Fen
  • Lime Kiln

Have you noticed these bright red nail like protrusions growing on tree leaves recently? Ever wondered what they are? These could be spotted on a walk around your local Cambridge Nature reserve: Eriophyes tiliae, or more commonly known, nail galls occur on the leaves of our Large-leaved lime and hybrid common lime from now onward. They are caused by a leaf mite feeding on the sap of the leaves, this action causes chemicals to be secreted into the plant tissue and this causes the leaves to develop galls….

A common woodland plant with a not so common life cycle. Although the leaves have been up since February it is only now that the unusual ‘flowers’ become visible. If you are having a walk in a local woodland look down at ground level and spot these striking pale green sheath-like leaves wrapping round a purple or sometimes yellow needle-like structure or spadix as it is known. The sheath-like leaf or spathe is not the flower it is actually a modified leaf which curls around the spadix and…

Although we are surrounded by gloom and doom at the moment nature seems to be trying very hard to turn our attention away from this and remind us of the beauty and energy of spring. Everywhere the colours and smells of renewal are all around giving us a welcome antidote and the promise of better times ahead. Take the Lesser Celandine flower for example. This ubiquitous little plant seems to arrive with not much warning. Often found in shaded areas of gardens and woodlands, it’s habit is to…