Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!  Wishing all the members of Monkmead Wood Volunteer Group a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year and also a huge thank you for all your help during 2014.  We've some new and exciting projects on the way and we'll kick those off with our January Litter Safari on Sunday 18th January.  See you at 10:00am in the main car park.  Christmas Tree

Winter is just around the corner so what can you expect to see in Monkmead Wood as Autumn and then Winter encase the woodland?  You'll start to see fungi popping their heads up through the leaf litter, so take a look at your feet, especially around the clearings on the heathland under the Silver Birch trees for Fly Agaric - one of the easiest fungi to spot at this time of year with its distinctive red cap and white spots (see photo below). Of course if you'd prefer more of a challenge then try spotting the Amethyst Deceiver, which you'll also find within leaf litter at this time of year, Hen of the Woods or Jelly Fungus when you're next out walking in Monkmead Wood.

Fly Agaric Amethyst DeceiverHen of the WoodsFungi image



 Invasive Species in Monkmead Wood & Commercial Balsam Bashing events for 2015 - Himalayan Balsam will continue to be one of MWVG's priority tasks.  The group have worked very hard over the past few years to contain this plant and prevent its spread throughout the woodland.  As you may already be aware, Balsam has no natural predators (making the job of controlling it even more difficult).  However the continued hard work of the volunteer group has cleared an enormous area close to Ken's Crossing and now in Spring Red Campion covers an area which was previously encased by Himalayan Balsam.  We are hoping to set up more Commercial Charity Days which have been so successful in the past with RSA so if you know anyone who might wish to take part in a Balsam Bashing event in 2015 please do let us know!

 HB001HBCredcampionRSA 1 group



Have you found anything interesting or unusual ?Wood Ant worker

Or perhaps seen anything that might be of interest to people in the village and surrounding areas ? Let us know and we'll try to find a place here on the site so others can find out what's going on 'around our patch'. (Photo right Worker Wood Ant).

Please telephone Amanda (West Chiltington Tree Warden) on (01798) 813229 or drop us a line by e-mail at


How do trees drink?
Trees are an intrinsic part of our countryside - they inspire us, provide us with valuable
oxygen, punctuate our countryside with texture and colour, they provide shade
for us and our animals and contribute to our economy.
When we think about trees 'drinking'  it's difficult to imagine but, like us, trees do react to things such as temperature changes, sunlight and even smells and do infact need to drink water, (well,  when I say drink it's not in the same way that we do of course) and like us trees require a steady flow of nutrients in order to survive.

Trees may not have any capability of  movement which enables them to shuffle over to the nearest stream to drink but beneath that knarled bark exterior they've evolved an
ingenious way of making the most out of the processes that take place beneath their exterior.  Namely, Transpiration.  This process works in conjunction
with the tree's need for water which literally enables it to 'drink'.  

Transpiration keeps trees cool in the summer and this process basically involves the evaporation of water from the trees leaves via tiny pores on their underside called stomata.
Hot summer temperatures or strong winds trigger the amount of water that evaporates from these tiny pores - the tree
itself can open or close these pores at will at regular intervals to release gasses.

As Transpiration takes place via the leaves in the canopy then this initiates water literally being 'drawn' up from the trees roots deep in the soil to the tips of its leaves to regulate moisture levels within the tree.