Introduction to the copse
The copse at the northern end of the site is a remnant of old forest. When the site was taken on (see our history of Rawcliffe Meadows) many of the trees were dead Elm but a planting spree replaced these, whilst leaving some dead material for the insects.
The copse is home to numerous indicator species for ancient woodlands but is also alive with birds roosting above the adjacent cornfield, also managed by Friends of Rawcliffe Meadows.
Erecting birdboxes in the copse – the copse is home to a large group of tree sparrows, a nationally rare bird now. The Friends have put up a large number of boxes, close together for these sociable birds, who feed in the cornfield next door. Many other birds, such as skylarks can be found particularly nesting in the cornfield in the spring. The boxes were supplied by and assistance with fitting was provided by Steve Huddleston of Wheatear.
The Friends believe the copse to be the remainder of an ancient woodland, possibly the Forest of Galtres. Why? Because of certain plant species that occur there naturally including the Giant Bellflower.
The copse in summer
Due to the growth of the trees, many of which were only planted by the Friends, the copse stays dull and damp in summer, as the puddles on the cycles track indicate. In winter when the deciduous trees drop their leaves, light returns…