Tuesday 3rd June - Gib Lane Wood

Wythenshawe Park is a very large park in an urban area - it is claimed that 13 separate woodlands have been identified within the park (http://www.manchester.gov.uk/info/200073/parks_playgrounds_and_open_spaces/2242/wythenshawe_park/11). At least two of these are quite sizeable and well worth exploring: Nan Nook Wood and Gib Lane Wood. Cheshire Wildlife Trust recently arranged a visit to Nan Nook Wood, and on this evening Liz Blackman took us to Gib Lane Wood.

En route from the main car park, we passed many very large trees, particularly some giant oaks, probably lining a former main route into the park. Gib Lane Wood itself also contains some very large trees of varied species and evidence that this is a long established woodland - Dog's Mercury and Enchanter's Nightshade are indicators of such.There had clearly been a good display of bluebells. most of which were now unfiortunately well past their best, as was the Wild Garlic, although its 'fragrance' was still overpowering in some areas! A few remaining specimens of Wood Avens were also present. Harts Tongue Fern was visible particularly near the small streams, and Giant Horsetail in at least one location. While not many plants were flowering, Meadow and Creeping Buttercups, Cow Parsley and Elder were fairly abundant.It was good to see a few specimens of Wych Elm, but not so the Japanese Knotweed.

Birds seen included Wood Pigeon, Crow, Blackbird, Robin, Song Thrush and Swallows and Swifts particularly near the Hall. The only fauna seen was a Grey Squirrel, although the presence of Midges was felt in the depths of the woodland on this humid evening.

It is always encouraging to see how much wildlife (including flora) still exists in the heart of our urban areas.

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