On probably the wettest day in October – and for that matter one of the wettest days ever for a Surrey Hills Society event – a group of about 20 dedicated members met at Marden Park Woods near Woldingham to learn about trees.
Our expert was Pamela Holt who has spent her career in tree and plant related activities and who is a long standing member of the Society. Our intention had been to enjoy the autumn colour of the woods and surrounding countryside. We saw the nearby trees but the vistas were unfortunately lost in mist and rain. However, the main aim of the day was to learn how to identify trees in autumn and in this we had lots of success.
Within our 2 hour, 2.5 mile stroll through this predominantly broad-leaved woodland we saw and discussed 29 different varieties of trees and shrubs. Naturally we saw the more common species such as Horse Chestnut, Ash, Beech and Sycamore but we also spotted less common trees such as Spindlewood, Goat Willow, Purging Buckthorn and many more. Pamela has an amazing amount of knowledge about trees and other plants so this was a fascinating walk even if umbrellas, waterproofs and good boots were the order of the day.
Our members were more than happy to keep stopping and asking and learning more and more from Pamela. This event was a continuation of a series of seasonal identification walks which Pamela has done for us. She has also written a short article to help you learn how to identify some of the trees in winter when the clues are far more subtle.