gordon stokes photography

Wytham Woods in Spring, Oxfordshire

Wytham Woods is just outside Oxford on Wytham Hill. It's a scientific laboratory used by the University of Oxford. Although it's managed, much of the research means leaving it in a more natural state than many woods. Having said that there's bits of scaffolding, things that look like used chinese takeaway trays on posts, bee (and other polinator) 'hotels', and other research related pariphernalia in many places.

If you have a reasonably good reason to want to visit, you should be able to get a permit. which comes with a map. I'm told that they want people to visit, but they want to ensure that all who go there understand that being a 'laboratory' means there have to be rules.

Bluebells, Wytham Woods, 2016

Looking up through Wytham Woods, 2016 - a buzzard and a kite in the top one

These, above, were taken in April 2011, in bright but hazy sunlight. The ones below were taken in 2010. In 2011 the bluebells came out much earlier, due probably to a warm spring, but the leaves on the beech trees came out at the usual time so there was more light coming through the trees. The 2010 ones show purer colours, as the light was more even.

The 2010 photos were taken when the bluebells and new leaves were emerging. It was difficult to get the balance between the bluebells being in full flower, and the leaves cutting out light.

The winter of 2013/14 was very stormy and windy, but was not cold. There were very few frosts. As a result the bluebells were early, and lasted a long time. The first photos were taken on 15th April, and the last shown here on 5th May, when they were in about full bloom.

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© Gordon Stokes, 2010-14