G2. Cut diagonally across the third field and enter the wood, where there is a bench on your right. Follow Broad Walk, taking the first right into Beech Grove.

As you cross the field look back to the Red Osier Dogwood in the hedgerow. This has distinctive red twigs that stand out all through the winter but are less prominent now that the leaves are beginning to show. The Common Dogwood at the top of the path by the entrance to the wood is less showy with purple twigs, also coming in to leaf.

In Broad Walk, as throughout the wood, English Oaks dominate with their deeply grooved bark and twisted branches. The bark is relatively soft and corky and flakes can be broken off. Oaks are late to come into leaf and the buds are still closed at this time.

The most dramatic sign of spring in this northern part of the wood are the Wood Anemones which form a striking white carpet, soon to be replaced by a blue one as the Bluebells come into flower. Keep a look out for early Bluebells although the blue flowers along the path edges at this time are more likely to be Dog Violets which are widespread throughout the wood. Other wildflowers to look for are the yellow Celandines.

Birds can be hard to spot but are easy to hear. Listen for the rattle of the Greater Spotted Woodpecker often heard in this section of the wood.

In Beech Grove you will pass beneath two massive evergreen Yews which have wide spreading branches that droop to the ground forming a tent. At the time of the Domesday Book a line of Yews was planted to mark the boundary between Addington and Croydon and these are almost certainly descendants.


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