Time was when Woodford Halse was a small village - and then came the Great Central Railway. It had a huge motive power depot (An M.P.D. was invariably referred to as a 'shed' by railway enthusiasts) and its activities came to dominate life in the village. Indeed, it developed into a town and the railway was by far the main employer.
|Woodford Halse shed in its latter years. Probably|
All that has gone but the huge area of raised land where the shed stood can still be clearly seen. Beside this mound is an area of low-lying, heavily vegetated wasteland and this has been adopted by the community. Often it is quite wet but recent weather has left the area very dry, so when I visited it on 15 September the vegetation was not at its best.
|www.greatcentralwoodland.org reads the notice board|
From the heart of the village the visitor crosses the infant River Cherwell. In places it was choked with debris but heavy rain should cause the river to rise and clear this material.
|Currently the River Cherwell is rather noisome.|
15 September, 2020
Insects were not abundant, or at least they were keeping a low profile. Doubtless there were many at the plant-soil interface. However there was plentiful evidence of insect activity.
|The gall of Urophora cardui on Creeping Thistle. Great |
Central Woodland, Woodford Halse. 15 September, 2020
|This greenish patch on a poplar leaf will eventually become|
brown. It is the work of Agromyza albitarsis. Great Central
Woodland, Woodford Halse. 15 September, 2020
Yet another leaf mine on poplar was formed, in this case, by a moth. The Poplar Bent-wing, Phyllocnistis unipunctella, is one of the micro-moths and its larvae form silvery mines looking vaguely like snail trails.
|Vague, rather silvery mines are formed by the larva of |
the Poplar Bent-wing. Great Central Woodland again,
15 September, 2020
I confess that my visit was rather disappointing but giver the exceptionally dry conditions this is understandable. Certainly it is worth another look in more favourable times.