In February 2021 we bought a 4 acre wood, part of a bigger 74 acre wood. Here are some excerpts from my diary.

Getting to know the land.

There is a lot of fallen branches and dead wood; we want to leave most as habituate piles for the insects that are at the start of the food chain. I love walking around the wood, properly getting to know ‘our land’. To begin I would trip, I was probably moving too fast. I’ve now slowed down, but I also have a hazel stick I can use for safety in some areas. We have a track that cuts the wood in two, eventually it will grow over but for now it is a good way to divide base camp from an area I want to use for well-being. I feel the trees are wanting to look after me.

With going to the wood several times, a week, I’m noticing far more than I would have seen if I’d visited an area less frequently and there would have been a lot of people around. For example, I have seen how the wood anemones have covered the floor and how they open and close in the sunlight, and each day see more bluebells. We don’t seem to have many daffodils in our part of the wood, so will plant some next year. I’ve spotted a couple of violets, and as I walk, look carefully to see what I can see.

12th May 2021

This is what’s lovely about having a wood, being able to go to take a break from work, to get out of the car and hear the various birds, so clear, so quiet. Today we didn’t light a fire, as we were only going to be there for 2-3 hours, instead I took a couple of flasks. To begin I sat quietly, then I read my book. Then my favourite time, to walk around looking at the plants, noticing the changes. My partner arrived, and we had a cup of tea and time just to be. We walked around looking at different parts of the wood. Then we put up my chair hammock. So relaxing.

2nd June 2021

Back at the wood after 2 weeks away on my Vision Quest. I noticed changes. It’s greener this time, gone are the swathes of bluebells that were breath taking. Many of the Bluebells are now coming to the end of their lives, but there are also more bluebell plants in bud to come up.
Plenty of birds around, the cuckoo(s) were noisy, and it was lovely to see a couple of nightingales, I love the way they fly low, gliding through the hazel coppice.

I don’t know the names of all the plants I see, but using an app I think we have

  • Bugleweed, part of the mint family
  • Yellow archangel, part of the dead nettle family
  • Kippernut, also known as Pig-nut and Earth chestnut. Nice little white flowers
  • Greater stitchwort with larger white flowers
  • Dogs Mercury, we have a lot!
  • Woodland figwort
  • Drooping sedge, also known as hanging sedge
  • Wood spurge also known as Mrs Robb’s bonnet, eekk the plant exudes a toxic substance

There are some primroses coming through, I think some may have bloomed before and loads of ferns, they are springing up everywhere. So interesting noticing the changes.

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