Native ivy (Hedera Helix) is a vigorous evergreen climbing plant which can be found growing up and over walls, trees and hedges. It is one of the best wildlife plants, supporting excellent cover, nesting sites, nectar rich flowers and berries. It is the food plant for many species of moth and the holly blue butterfly.

Ivy is wrongly thought to damage trees and it is not a parasite, it takes nothing from the tree and only uses it for support. It does not strangle the tree or cause deformities. Occasionally, when it gets in to the canopy it can reduce the amount of light reaching the leaves of an old tree and can make the tree more liable to blow over in the wind

In former days old English taverns bore a sign of an ivy bush over their doors, this to indicate the excellence of the liquor supplied, hence the old saying “A good wine needs no bush”.

Credit: Information and photo kindly supplied by Peter Dowse of Bollington, Cheshire