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On a day where the rain was particularly torrential, I travelled out to Resp Haw and Bull coppice, the new woodlands out at Rusland, with Andrew, one of the policy officers here at Friends of the Lake District. The woodlands at Rusland are in a stunning location, Rusland is secluded and quiet with an abundance of trees covering the valley. The woodlands, which have been generously gifted to Friends of the Lake District, stand on the eastern side of the valley adjacent to the popular walking spot, Rusland Heights.

Pictured: A view from the woodland

The purpose of the visit was to have a look round the woodland, check the boundaries and generally explore the woodlands. A few escaped sheep were spotted and their access point found, a large gap in the wall on a boundary adjacent to a pasture, a first job for a walling work party!

The woodland has two sides to it the lower portion of the woodland or Bull Coppice is more open with a carpet of vegetation there is evidence of historical coppicing and there is a small pond in this area. Whereas the upper part of the woodland, Resp Haw is the opposite, darker and denser with smaller understory trees amongst the taller canopy trees this section is heavily scattered with boulders and many moss covered rocky outcrops. Interestingly there is a line of yew trees which threads its way through this section of the woodland. The line of trees snakes its way through the rocks and creating a very different atmosphere to the lower part of the woods. The dense moss and lichen covering the rocks and trees, the twisting roots of the yew trees give the woodland a magical feel straight out of an Arthurian legend! Ecologically this woodland is reminiscent of the Celtic rainforests, unique temperate rainforest habitats which can be found on the east coast of Scotland, England and wales.

Pictured: Bull coppice

The woods at Rusland is a beautiful site which I hope to be involved in in the future, it is a woodland which will vastly change with each season making it worthy of a visit for each. I look forward to returning soon throughout spring and summer to help with flora and fauna surveys which will take place on the property.