Flora Species

Colwick Woods comprises a large area of deciduous woodland with associated grasslands (open grasslands, glades and rides), running water, and stands of scrub. Ancient woodland is more than a collection of trees, it is a complex assembly of plants and animals that if lost cannot be recreated.

The wood contains an assemblage of ancient woodland 'indicator species' such as Dog's Mercury (Mercurialis perennis), Bluebell (Hyacinthoides non-scripta) and Ramsons (Allium ursinum). We have scrub of Hawthorn and Elder - great for Elder-flower cordial, the Elder berries have a slightly woody taste but are good for fighting colds and flu. We also have swathes of yellow Celendines, white flowered Wild Garlic, Pink Campion, Wood Avens, Ivy and Nettles.


There are two large areas of open grassland (Compartments 8. 9 and 10).

Short grassland: This occurs on the slopes of the hill and is rich in plant species. The soil acidity is around neutral. Summer flowers include the delicate Ladies Bedstraw, Birds-foot Trefoil (also known as Bacon and Eggs), Yarrow, Agrimony, and clovers. The flowers are important nectar for the wild bees that live in the woods to make honey, and for butterflies and many other insects. Meadow ants build soil mounds in places which may at first sight appear handy to sit on. Often overlooked are 16 species of grass and sedge in the central grassland area alone.

Tall rough grassland: This is found around the woodland edge and glades. It contains Burdock with its large leaves and hooked seed heads, close to Dandelions - could make a nice drink! Tall umbrella shaped flower heads of Hogweed. Bramble and some raspberry patches great for picking blackberries. Nettle patches are good food for butterflies and other species.

dogs mercury

Dog's Mercury is common in shady woodland. The green flowers are tiny and grow along spikes. The male and female flowers grow on separate plants. The dark green leaves are oval and slightly pointed.

As its name suggests, this plant is poisonous.


The bluebell is commonly found in deciduous woodland, especially in oak and beech woods. English bluebells are under threat from the Spanish bluebell (Hyacinthoides hispanica). A hybrid (a cross between the English and Spanish bluebell), has been cross-breeding with the native species and threatening its existence.It is now illegal to collect native bluebells from the wild for sale.


Ramsons is a bulbous perennial in the Alliaceae Family, common to damp woodlands and hedge banks. It is said that bears awakening from hibernation eat it to cleanse their metabolism and regain their strength leading to one of the common names, Bear's Garlic, and the species name derived from the Latin for bear.


Red Campion has pink / red flowers, up to 2 cms diameter, which grow in pairs at the end of the stem. Each flower is made up of five forked petals. The leaves are oval and slightly hairy.

Red Campion is common in woodland and hedgerows.

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