Friday, Iris de Ronde and I went to the ‘Mantingerbos’ in the heart of Drenthe. This is a old woodland remnant along the ‘Oude Diep’, a small lowland rivulet, characterised by old, more than 10 meters high holly trees (Ilex aquifolium). The history of this woodland dates back to prehistoric times, and it’s the only woodland in the Netherlands from which we know it has been permanently wooded from prehistory till present. This doesn’t mean there are no – old and recent – human influences recognisable. In Medieval times, trees were cut, and later the Mantingerbos was grazed. Due to this grazing, holly could take over large areas.

The Mantingerbos is the place where I was confronted with bramble diversity for the first time. I did a vegetation mapping project for the ‘Vereniging Natuurmonumentn’, the owner and manager of the forest. My supervisor, Piet A. Bakker pointed out the Rubi of the area, and said: “You could try to include the brambles too…” I was hooked! The bramble flora of the Mantingerbos is quite special, with several characteristic old woodland species, like Rubus pedemontanus and R. arhenii. Rubus mucronulatus has one of it’s few occurrences in our country in the road verge thickets here, which are mainly formed by R. idaeus (Raspberry) and R. glandithyrsos. The Mantingerbos is designated as one of the Natura 2000 sites in our country.

We made photos for the Rubus website of all the main species growing here, including the ones named above. You can find them on my website: Rubus species in The Netherlands. The species in bold font can be viewed in a separate window. Below you will find some photos to give you an idea about the Mantingerbos.

550Rubus thickets in the road verges near the Mantingerbos

550Holly woodland with Dryopteris in the field layer

550Holly woodland in the Mantingerbos