Look for the funky looking Knopper Galls
Have you ever found these underneath an old oak tree? Look under an ancient Pedunculate oak and you might discover some of these curious looking crinkled lumps. They look really odd and each is different. In a gnarled old oak whilst looking for fungi I tripped over them in the grass and looking up I could see this tree had dozens of these strange galls. There are Knopper Galls and they have a wriggly wasp larvae inside, and it is the chemicals released by the larvae that cause the normally fertile acorn to go all wobbly.
Funnily enough another species of tree, the Turkey Oak – introduced into Britain in 1700’s – is needed for the lifecycle of the insects and this gall was only found in the UK in the 1960s.
Here are some more pics of some I found and a whole bunch more on the tree, and the beefsteak fungus.
Come tree-climbing and see what you can discover!
This is a fantastic adventure for kids and adults. We climbed a massive oak tree (myself and my two boys 11 and 16) … You climb the tree in your own time I went up once and sat and admired the view for a while but my youngest boy managed to go up and down three times. The price of the ticket included access to Bowhill grounds which as the sun was shining was great to walk around and there is also a courtyard coffee shop. All Highly recommended.