Illustrations are taken from our recent book Woods and Forests which you have the chance of winning by following our competition details on Facebook or Twitter! You can also order it here or download our fun learning app.
Less obvious, but far more numerous are the armies of tiny creatures and insects at work. From earthworms, woodlice, maggots, dung beetles, bark beetles, slugs, leatherjackets to the acrobatic springtail, which is no bigger than a pin’s head, these are the decomposers and detritivores – discreetly and relentlessly munching, chewing, devouring. Plants such as fungi and algae also feed on dead leaves, rotting tree stumps and fallen twigs. From these they extract substances crucial to their own proliferation. In so doing they contribute to the overall rotting down and composting which releases into the soil fresh nutrients invaluable to fresh plants and germinating seedlings.
It is good to know as I tramp through the woods, be it in dry or wet conditions, in the months to come, that unobtrusively and silently nature is at work in this myriad of forms all around me.