There is little practical work that can be done at the moment except to watch the ecology. A survey of wildflower plants appearing will be maintained in the summer months, and with this in mind a few pictures were taken in mid April at Great Elm on the Collier’s Way. The most common wildflowers were cowslips, violets, white nettle, bluebells and primroses.
The most impressive ecology currently showing at Great Elm is the result of the additional hedge laying done in the autumn. This has now leafed up and flowered, and is looking much better than the hedge laid the year on a previous Sustrans Workday – the reason being the use of a slightly different method. This involved putting all the surplus material under the hedge as it was laid, which had the effect of wedging it up off the ground (the previous method was to put surplus wood on top of the laid hedge). Since the hedge is nearly all blackthorn it is very difficult to lay so this result is very satisfying.
Another thing of note is how good the blackthorn blossom looks. Generally the trees are slowly greening up and the hawthorn will flower next after leafing (the opposite of blackthorn).