Hainault Forest Website

Written, Designed and Photographed by Brian Ecott


Freshwater and Terrestrial Algae



A blue-green algal bloom on the lake. It collects in aggregates or flocs around the edges. Under the microscope (x400) it shows a filamentous alga with similar sized cells occasionally interspersed with a larger heterocyst - looking like a bead necklace. It is a species of Anabaena. Photos: 21st July 2006.

Mud on the edge of Sheepwater having a bright pea-green appearance. Under the microscope there were masses of motile and non-motile Euglena species. Note the red eye-spot at the anterior end. (x400)  Photos: 23rd July 2006.

Oscillatoria  is another filamentous blue-green alga. This forms blue-green masses in mud. Under the microscope it shows straight filaments of similar cells. The end cell is pointed. Each filament is capable of slowly creeping. (x400) Found in mud near Foxburrows farm. Photo: 23rd July 2006. A Desmid - Pleurotaenium sp. Found in Sheepwater. It is a green alga, and the wavy lines in the middle distinguish this from other desmids. (x400) Photo: 21st April 2006.

A rigid species of Euglena. Note the red eye spot. Motility is by two anterior flagella. (x400) Sheepwater.

Photo:23rd July 2006.

Another species of Euglena found in Sheepwater (x400).

Photo: 23rd July 2006.

Phacus sp. Closely related to Euglena. Has flagella and and anterior red eye spot. Sheepwater.(x400) Photo: 21st April 2006.

Species of Closterium. Commonly found in Sheepwater and Roe's well amongst the pondweeds. Desmids belong to the Green algae. Identification of individual species helped by measuring the outer edge for the arc of curvature which l to r = 165, 122 and 100. (x400).  Photos: 21st April 2006.

Another Closterium sp. which has a very small arc of curvature. (x400).  Photo: Sheepwater 21st April 2006.

Pictured above two Desmids - species of Cosmarium. Found among the submerged vegetation in Sheepwater. Consist of two semi-cells joined in the middle.

Photo: 21st April 2006.

Chaetophora sp. A green alga, epiphytic on water plants.(x100)  Branched filaments (x400) form tufts or balls from which long colourless hairs protrude - see first picture. Sheepwater. Photo: 21st April 2006.

Pandorina sp. a motile, colonial  green alga consisting of 8 -16 cells. Each cell has two flagella and the colony is enclosed in a mucilage layer. Sheepwater.

Photo: 21st April 2006.

Peridinium sp.  a Dynoflagellate. Free swimming cells move with a whirling motion due to two flagella which lie in the grooves of the armoured cell. Sheepwater.

Photo: 21st April 2006.

Pediastrum sp. a non-motile green alga. May consist of 8,16 or 32 cells. Sheepwater. Photo: 21st April 2006.

 Mougeotia sp. in Roe's Well. Unbranched filamentous green alga. (x100) The chloroplast in the cell is flat and can often be seen end on. See bottom left cell above.(x400) Sheepwater. 21st April 2005.

Spirogyra sp. in Roe's Well. Unbranched filamentous green alga with the chloroplast in a spiral within the cell.  (x400)  Sheepwater.  Photo: 21st April 2006.

Oedogonium sp. in Hainault Lodge Pond. Unbranched filamentous green alga. (x400) Attached to edges of ponds and plants. The end of the terminal cell is usually rounded. The chloroplast is net-like in each cell. (x400) A characteristic is the presence at the end of some cells of ridges like a stack of disposable cups (right) (x950). Photo: 21st April 2006.

Haematococcus sp. in Roe's Well is unicellular green alga containing a blood red pigment which colours the water red.  The green mass is Chara - a stonewort (see below). Photo: 13th April 2003.

Enteromorpha flexuosa pilifera. A hollow tube, one cell thickness. Detail above x950. Length of this specimen 20cms x 12mm width. Attached to rock near outflow of the Lake. Likes nutrient rich water. Often found in marine environments.

 Photo: 17th May 2006.

Chara vulgaris vulgaris - a Stonewort which  is present in Roe's Well. Stoneworts are macroscopic green algae which get their name from the presence in them of Calcium carbonate. Photo: 13th April 2003.
Cladophora sp. on rock in lake edge is a branched filamentous green alga(x100). Often free floating where it gets the name Blanket weed. It feels rough to the touch due to the many species of Diatom which attach themselves to it. Diatoms are brown algae with silica shells. (x400) (x950). Hainault Lake. Photo: 21st April 2006.


Trentepohlia sp. on Ash tree near Sheepwater forming orangey tufts. It is a green alga with an orange pigment. Photo: 23rd March 2005.

Desmococcus olivaceum a green alga on tree trunk. Formerly known as Pleurococcus, it consists of 1,2,3 or cell clusters on the shaded part of trees.

Photo: 16th May 2006 Dog Kennel Hill.

Nostoc commune on hoggin path near Foxburrows cottages. This is a macroscopic blue-green algal colony. Photo: 30th December 2004.