Stanmore Common Nature Trail

Long trail post 3: At the base of the post is a pile of Stanmore Gravel dug to create the post hole. The stones are rounded, indicating that they were tumbled in a river or beach. The Stanmore Gravel is recent; it was deposited only 2 million years ago - in contrast, the dinosaurs died out 65 million years ago.

To the left of the path notice a young bushy sweet chestnut. This tree is too young to produce fruits, but even mature trees only produce nuts worth eating in exceptional years.

Fork left here and follow Jake’s path over a number of streams to point 4. The woodland here is more open with a better cover of forest floor plants. This is a good area to listen for birds. At all times of the year you will hear robins with their liquid clear notes, the shriller sound of wrens and the two-note "tea-cher" call of great tits. Coal tits, which are also common, similar but the call is more melodic.

You will also hear the sharp "pik" calls of great spotted woodpecker. This is a contact call. In spring both males and females drum rapidly on dead wood to tell others this is their patch. Woodpeckers will fight fiercely if an intruder does not back down. The reason for the pressure on territories is the fact that Woodpecker food largely consists of wood boring insect larvae, often in dead rotten timber and these are sparsely distributed so a woodpecker needs a fairly large territory to keep alive.

To description for long trail post 4

More on some of the birds you are likely to see or hear on the Common

More on the three species of deer on the Common and their tracks

Click here to learn more about the Harrow Nature Conservation Forum including guided walks and conservation workdays.