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Nettles (Urtica dioica)

Nettles (Urtica dioica)

Early childhood memories of Nettle stings are a strong reminder to avoid contact with that plant, since the effect is painful and lasts for several hours. Although it is not known to be fatal in humans, even in severe cases, it is reported that dogs have been killed by being badly stung. It is likely that the Nettle sting evolved as a deterrent to herbivores, and certainly the Nettle is a very successful agricultural weed, growing especially well in pastures…

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Alien Trees in Towerhouse Wood

Alien Trees in Towerhouse Wood

Although Towerhouse Wood is designated as semi-natural ancient woodland, several alien tree species occur, particularly to the north of the main public footpath (W9) that traverses the wood from East to West. Some of these have been deliberately planted, while others are probably escapes from local gardens. The average age of these alien trees appears to be about 50 years. Adjacent to the notice board about half way along the main footpath is a cluster of Gymnosperms, notable among which…

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The Oak Tree (Quercus robur)

The Oak Tree (Quercus robur)

Leaves and buds of the Pedunculate Oak There are two native species of Oak growing in Britain – the Pedunculate (or English) Oak (Quercus robur- meaning strong, of the timber), and the Sessile Oak (Q. petraea – of the rocky places). These two species may be easily distinguished respectively by the presence or absence of acorn stalks. Curiously, the leaves behave in the opposite manner, with the Pedunculate Oak usually having no petioles, while the Sessile Oak has stalked leaves….

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