Nature @ The Pines
The Pines Outdoor Club (1972) is privileged to own an attractive secluded site in the Royal Forest of Dean. The location is not only an ideal spot for the safe and secure enjoyment of naturism but also for all our members and their guests to enjoy the quiet contemplation of it’s rich wildlife.
Situated on Wenlock Limestone, about a quarter of the area consists of disused linear limestone quarries. Immediately adjacent to us is a nationally important exposure of fossilised limestone reef. We even have our very own limekiln. The alkaline soil is unusual in the Dean so some of the plants and animals present are not otherwise widely represented in the area.
Birds: Common woodland birds are present – raptors - the occasional Goshawk (Accipiter gentillis), woodpeckers, Nuthatch (Sitta europaea), Marsh Tit, (Parus palustris) Long-Tailed Tit (Aegithalos caudatus), Tree Creeper (Certhia familiaris), Spotted Flycatcher (Muscicapa striata) and Wood Warbler (Phylloscopus sibilatrix) etc. There are good opportunities for observation particularly when few members are present.
Mammals: There is a large Badger (Meles meles) sett in the adjacent Kiln Wood, and the animals have many well-used trails across our site. Those staying overnight may readily observe their activities. Hazel Dormouse (Muscardinus avellanarius), a nationally rare (Schedule 1) species, is present. One of our members held a dormouse handling licence until recently and was able to demonstrate this lovely animal to several members. We also have bats, species unknown flitting about on summer evenings.
Plants: The spring is characterised by a good population of Primrose (Primula vulgaris) which often start before the turn of the year, and which are later joined by Cowslip (Primula veris) and False Oxlip (Primula veris x vulgaris). There are carpets of Wild Daffodil (Narcissus pseudonarcissus), Bluebell (Endymion non-scriptus).
Seven species of wild orchid have been seen on site in recent years, most of them are seen annually and others could be found, so keep a lookout! They are Common Twayblade (Listera ovata), Autumn Ladies Tresses (Spiranthes spiralis), Pyramidal Orchid (Anacampis pyramidalis), Early Purple Orchid (Orchis mascula), Common Spotted Orchid (Dactylorhiza fuchsii), Bee Orchid (Ophrys apifera) and Greater Butterfly Orchid (Platanthera chlorantha). Other plants of interest too numerous to list include the ancient woodland markers Herb Paris (Paris quadrifolia), and Spurge Laurel (Daphne laureola), and what could be more appropriate than the uncommon Naked Ladies (colchicum autumnale), Adders Tongue Fern (Ophioglossum vulgatum) is at home on our sun lawn.
Many butterflies are present in their season including the scarce Ringlet (Aphantopus hyperantus), White Admiral (Limenitis Camilla) and Small Copper (Lycaena phlaeas) has been noted. has been noted.
The woodland is managed by coppicing so as to optimise the growth of a double screen around the site to protect it from the infrequently used Right of Way which used to run through the middle of the site, but which has been diverted to provide maximal privacy.