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wych elm leaf

Millennium Wood

Friday 17th August 2001, East Lothian

View of the Firth of ForthJUST TO the west of the small town of Tranent, East Lothian, there's a slope overlooking the Firth of Forth and Cockenzie Power Station that was, in the past, used as a rubbish dump. A few fragments of blue-and-white pottery may give evidence for a date - Victorian perhaps?

path in the Millenium Wood The Millennium scheme, inspired by one local man's vision, is to turn this patch into an example of the kind of native woodland that existed here before clearance. It's a tall order. The Sycamores aren't native, but there's also Ash and Wych Elm here. A vigorous Elder and nettlegrowth of Stinging Nettle hints at soils enriched by nitrogen, a do the Elder bushes. These plants can be a sign of human activity in an area or, equally, of Rabbit. Their nitrogen-rich pellets of dung encourage the growth of nettle and elder once the native plants have been nibbled away and, since rabbits prefer not to eat these plants they soon thrive. next page

Richard Bell
Richard Bell,
wildlife illustrator

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