This is part of my Woodlands project
English bluebells (Hyacinthoides non-scripta) growing in the open, grassy woodlands of Roydon Woods National Nature Reserve, managed by Hampshire & Isle of Wight Wildlife Trust. Bluebells grow freely away from tree cover and can often indicate the site of former ancient woodland in areas of open land.
An English boundary oak (Quercus robur) There are an inordinate number of ancient and veteran trees in the New Forest. The New Forest is of European importance for this reason, amongst others. It is a treasure trove of old trees and landscape features.
The New Forest is significant also because of its roaming herbivores, in this image one of the many New Forest ponies can be seen grazing under the boughs of another boundary oak.
There are also a number of notable beech trees, this one contained an intuitive birder, not a species native to this area.
May to June is a good time to spot Chicken of the woods (Laetiporus sulphureus). This specimen was unmissable, it was massive, something like 40-50cm in length across the log.
The breaks of sun in Roydon Woods gave warmth and light to invertebrates on the edges of the paths. This beautiful demoiselle (Calopteryx virgo) was resting on plants growing in a ditch.
But the New Forest is in fact more heathland than woodland. There were a good number of stonechat (Saxicola torquatus) singing atop gorse bushes out on the heath.
It was a joy and a pleasure to hear cuckoo (Cuculus canorus) singing in the distance. It was an even more pleasing feeling to see this male shoot past us. Spring, it is the most precious time of year.