Why visit our woods for a walk in the summer?
Our Commonwealth Woods are at their greatest during the summer. The trees are in full leaf and most of the spring flowers are over, giving life to grasses and brambles. They are perfect for a woodland walk, on your own, or with friends and family.
Although there is a great deal of nature within our woodlands, at this time of year, it is mostly hiding in the canopy, and it can be less easy to spot.
Quietness: the birds have finished nesting and are feeding their young. They no longer have time to sing, so the woodlands are quieter than in the spring months. If you listen closely, what can you hear? Creaking trees, woodpeckers and bees are just a few of the sounds amplified by the summer silence.
Insects: there are many mini-beasts to find crawling and munching on the leaves, including spiders, caterpillars and aphids. Butterflies will be abundant at the edge of the woods, and in sunny glades. Dragonflies and mayflies hatch from larvae in our woodland streams and ants will be busy collecting food to take back to their nest.
Feeding time: this is a busy time for the wildlife in our woods. Most of our residents are bringing up their young, feeding them and teaching them to hunt and fly. Keep an eye out for kestrels hovering along the edge of the woods and neighbouring farmland.
Summer flowers: In places, the woodland canopy becomes too thick in places for flowers to grow underneath. However, in woodland glades and on the edge of the woodlands summer flowers thrive, including foxgloves, red campion and willow herbs. Some flowers can be seen on trees and large shrubs, including elderflower, which can be foraged and used to create delicious cordial.
Family Woodland Walk Activity: Commonwealth Woods Scavenger Hunt
How many of these summer treasures can you collect on your woodland walk?
- “they love me, they love me not” daisy
- green hazelnuts and hazelnut shells
- “what time is it” dandelion clock
- a leaf munched by a caterpillar
- an untidy eaten cone (squirrel)
- a neatly eaten cone (mouse)
- colourful wing or tail feather
- white fluffy downy feather
- a buttercup butter tester
- petals with spots or stripes
- a scented flower
- Brambles, or other fruit / berry
- 4 leaf clover (if you are very lucky!)
- a flower bud
- 5 different grasses
There are loads of great activities for you and your family to enjoy in the woods this summer; we recommend that you visit www.naturedetectives.org.uk for more ideas and resources.
Did you know?…
Taking a short gentle walk in a wood can promote a wide variety of physical and mental health benefits. Perhaps this is why the Japanese, as believers in the restorative power of nature, call it shinin-yoku, “forest bathing”
We recommend: a summer walk at Boden Boo Commonwealth Wood in Erskine. A mature woodland tucked beneath the Erskine Bridge with wonderful views of the River Clyde – and its own beach and big open spaces!