Once upon a time in Meridian Wood
Last week I caught up with David Gedye, our fantastic woodland warden who looks after Meridan Wood for us. A small pocket of green surrounded by arable farmland, Meridian Wood is much loved by the local community in Bluntisham, Cambridgeshire. It provides a refuge for both wildlife and people alike and anyone who walks the woodland path will eventually be treated to spectacular views over the valley of the Great Ouse – views like these are limited in the Fens!
In 2000 Meridian wood was created as part of the Woodland Trusts ‘Woods on your doorstep’ program – a mix of native broadleaved species were planted with help and support from the local community. This Millennium wood has flourished in the years since and is a significant site for a number of reasons, not least because it is an area of woodland found in England’s least wooded county.
The site gets its name due to it’s proximity to the meridian line and a key feature is a human sundial.
Due to the presence of powerlines overhead and underground services, parts of the woodland are unplanted, which has promoted the growth of wildflowers and grasses. Other areas have low growing trees and shrubs such as guelder rose, hazel, buckthorn, wayfaring tree, field maple, dog wood and crab apple. There is a small area in the wood which has been planted with local varieties of fruit trees, such as the Cambridge Gage. We came across a walnut tree too. Mixed broadleaf species on site include ash, oak, wild service and silver birch.
Thanks David for showing me around the wood, if you, like me enjoy green, leafy tunnels, blankets of wildflowers and amazing views of the countryside then Meridian Wood is for you!
Amanda Brookes (Volunteering Development Officer: Central England)