Chinese trees and woodpeckers at Batsford

Batsford arboretum was full of surprises this week.

A very rare tree , Emmenopterys henryi was flowering for the first time ever at Batsford , it is 25 years old. It is thought that this years extreme weather, snow earlier and now the heat wave have triggered this flowering.

This is only the 6th time that this species has flowered in Britain.

The tree was discovered by an Irish plant hunter Augustine Henry in Central China in 1887 and was first cultivated in England in 1907.

The flowers were not obvious at first look they were st the very top of the canopy.

Another fantastic Chinese tree was glorious The tree has huge long catkin type structures 45 cm long. It is called Pterocarya macroptera var insignis. Known as a wing nut and part of the walnut family.

I would love a walk in a Chinese forest , the plants are amazing.

Walking though the arboretum our eyes were caught by a bird a long way in the field, with my new lens I managed to see that it was a green woodpecker.

Green woodpeckers are the largest of the three British woodpecker species. There are 52,000 breeding pairs in the U.K. Their favourite food is ants, they dig them up and eat them with their long sticky tongue .

A great visit .

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