Just spent three hours in Teazle Wood with three extraordinary experts in their respective fields – Professor David Hawksworth CBE (mycology), Dr. Pat Wiltshire (botany / ecology) and Peter Murphy. Peter Murphy’s educational background is in Biological Sciences. He has occupied various posts within English Heritage, as a Regional Science Advisor, Coastal Strategy Officer and now Historic Environment Intelligence Officer (Climate Change).
We are so lucky to have their volunteered expertise aboard. If every child could experience Pat’s teaching ability, even for an hour or two, the world would be a better place. She identified all kinds of living and dead trees as invaluable teaching aids; in particular, a very old hawthorn dying a slow and macabre death at the hands of ‘Boa constrictor’ ivy, like the mace round a nutmeg.
Pat has advised that this tree should be preserved as a stunning example of the action of ivy on its host / prey. Pat and Peter have volunteered to carry out soil samples which will show us through pollen the whole ecological history of Teazle Wood.