Nature Reserve Spotlight: Ryton Wood
The nature reserves in the Ryton area have quickly become my favourite over the past year. Ryton Pools and Wood, Bubbenhall Wood and Meadows, Old Nun Wood and Wappenbury all border on each other and form part of the Dunsmore Living Landscape project. A National Heritage funded project to restore important wildlife habitats between Leamington, Rugby and Coventry. The reserves are interconnected and it is easy to follow the footpaths between each one, though they are massive so it may take a long time to walk around the entire area. You can learn more about Ryton on the Warwickshire Wildlife Trust page: Ryton Wood.
Throughout 2019 I spent many hours walking around each reserve and have recently come to the realisation that I should be writing about these nature reserves and what can be found at them. I started with Bubbenhall and so it is only natural to continue at Ryton Pools and Wood, the next nature reserve along. I find the Pools part of the nature reserve too busy so normally cut through it and dive straight into the poorly marked maze that is Ryton Wood.
Winter (Late December to early March)
It was a crisp morning when I awoke on Saturday. I felt like the first proper cold snap of the winter, so frost sparkled on the ground and the sky had that drained shade of blue that means it’s absolutely freezing outside. The day started off clear and then settled into a freezing mist in the afternoon. I parked up at Bubbenhall Wood and walked through the meadow to Ryton Pools. The pool area is always really busy so I quickly walked through and entered Ryton Woods. I love wandering through the woods as its big enough to get lost and has many paths that meander through the ancient trees. There is a large drive straight down the center of the wood which created an atmospheric photo through the mist.
Autumn (late August to early December)
I visisted Ryton Woods a lot over last autumn as I was volunteering with the Wildlife Trust, doing coppicing and undergrowth management. This provided the perfect opportunity to rummage around amongst the rotton leaves and find plenty of fungi. Ryton Woods is a must visit for mushroom enthusiasts as around mid Autumn it is overflowing with every type imaginable.