It’s been a beautiful day today, too sunny and pleasant to stay in, so we decided to have a field trip.
When we lived in Lincolnshire before, we drove some 7 miles or so every day to a plantation and had many enjoyable walks in the woods there.
I’ve written about some of them here, here and here.
The woods are now about 30 miles away and have changed a lot since we left the area in 2014. The forestry commission have cut down a lot of the trees and thinned out a lot more. I took these photos in January and March last year.
The ones with the orange dots and lines were for felling, and a lot of the areas we used to walk were almost unrecognisable as they were so bare.
Today it was nice to notice that the road has been resurfaced. Not patched like they usually do but a proper job so it was a pleasure to drive down a road with no potholes in it!
We parked up at the top and Maggie was excited at new smells that eventually seemed oddly familiar.
The Humpy Pumpy track (left) is still there, but another pathway has been made alongside it. This one runs closer to the road but may well meet up with ours further down.
Maggie didn’t go too far ahead, but we were wearing our yellow coats today so that if she lost sight of us, we would be easy to locate.
Where some of the trees have been cleared here revealed a track that could well have been the basis for a stream. We hadn’t noticed it before and although we followed it a little way, it suddenly dipped and disappeared into the undergrowth so we had to turn back.
We passed the exit side of Maggie’s wood which is more overgrown now and again another pathway has been forged in that rank of trees.
Photo: New pathway
Humphrey’s Stump is still there as is one of the many tracks that interweave and cross throughout the plantation. To walk the complete perimeter is 3.27 miles.
Photo: Humphrey’s Stump taken Jan 2018 and the track leading to it taken today.
We found another favourite short cut, or should I say Maggie did, though this one is wider now than when we first found it and is being used a lot by horses (mind your step!).
Being at the top of the woods, although there were a lot of dog prints (and they were pretty big!) apart from two poo bags left by a tree, we saw no abundance of dog droppings, which made a pleasant change, though Hubby did manage to tread in some.
We were walking for almost an hour, Hubby found some ladybirds on some greenery, so Spring is in the air.
Walking back to the car, we passed a debris shelter, complete with ‘couch’ inside.
These were quite numerous in the warmer months, though most were off the beaten track and out of sight of passers-by. The site was always kept clean and clear of rubbish.
It’s possible that the forestry commission will leave things alone for a while since their last thinning episode so that the trees can bulk up and grow having more sunlight and space.
The thing is in doing so, the heart of the woods has been ripped out. We found no deer prints and although we saw a few wagtails and sparrows, there was no bird song either.
Thanks! It’s been a lovely day.
Sounds like you had a lovely walk. It always breaks my heart to see trees cut down even when I know they are thinning the woods for better growth. I just feel such a loss especially when they are old growth trees. Must be why we’ve lived in this house for over 40 years now. I just cannot leave my 150+ year old oak trees.
We love trees, and ‘adopted’ one (unofficially) in the New Forest. We calculated the Elm was about 150 years old and visited often. We decorated it with a couple of garlands for Christmas, taking them down again at New Year (they never went missing) and it became a private place of sanctuary for us. We shared it once with my sister who couldn’t understand the significance. We often wonder if our message bottles buried in the roots have been discovered yet.
What a wonderful idea. I’m going to pass it along to my daughter. Her boys are always hugging trees. I think they’d love it.
We miss the woods, which is why it was so nice to go there yesterday.
Beautiful pics especially the one with the sunlight shining through the trees!
It was beautiful there today. We saw just two other people and they were in the distance walking away from us. Maggie was having lovely time though didn;t go too far. She did lose sight of us once, but we realised that before she could get anxious, our yellow coats are perfect then.