Species of the Month - January

Each month we feature a picture of a species to be found on The Commons. Wherever possible, all species featured have been photographed here. This month we are featuring the Hazel tree (Corylus avellana). The fine coppice stool featured here is to be found alongside the path through School Common..

Hazel is the workhorse of the tree world. Its many uses arise from its pliable or bendy nature. It traditionally made hurdles and fencing and was the basis of wattle and daub walls in timber frame buildings. It is still used today to peg down thatch. Gardeners value it for pea sticks and bean poles. It provides water diviners with their forked twigs. It affords nuts for squirrels - and humans if they can get to them first! Its long association with love and fertility gives rise to the country saying “to go a nutting”. Most valued of all are its catkins, known as lambs’ tails, the first sign of renewal in the darkest depths of winter.

More pictures and information can be found on the Wildlife Trusts and the Woodland Trust's websites.

Click here to see the other Species of the month in 2018.

Click here to see other Species of the Month for last year, or here for 2016's Plants of the Month.