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A new year walk with old friends.

After the festivities I was itching to get out into the forest this morning so headed out to recce the Anderwood walk for Tuesday.

Heading out past the picnic area, the sun was trying to squeeze through the upright conifers that stood shoulder to shoulder but the evergreen canopy prevented it from warming my path until I reached the gravel inclosure track where it lit the copper carpet under the sleeping broadleaf trees and the meandering fallows that were watching me from the shadows of the wood with it was just being mild enough for the wood ants to awaken from their nest to do a little housekeeping. Blackensford brook was foaming and rushing through the forest after the recent rain and sparkled in the weakening sun, lighting up the moss from the banks but it wasn't long before the cloud embraced the sky as I stepped out of Anderwood and into outer rails inclosure. I decided to take a short detour to visit an old and wise friend; the Undersley Oak. This gnarly and magnificent old man stands not far from the road, but just far enough for me to sit under him with my coffee and silently keep him company for a while in now what was a dark and imminently drizzly woodland which simply added to his majestic-ness!

Just sitting, enjoying the quiet and the energy of these woods I raised my coffee to the old fella and in return a little gold crest hopped out of a nook, I watched this fantastic little bird busy its self in and out of crevices and crannies sporting a fabulous yellow mohawk before disappearing around the otherside of this immense oak. I said my goodbyes to my old friend and retraced my steps back to my path while accompanied by the calling from a nearby goshawk.

Back on the inclosure tracks I head into Burley new inclosure and the drizzle which created a mist over the forthcoming conifers as they released their resin. Wrens hopped in and out of the neatly stacked logs decorated with fungi alongside the track reminding me that this is a working forest, not that you would believe it today as so far not another person has been seen!

On the last stretch on my walk through Dame slough inclosure the sun started to push through once more with the accompanying sound of trickling water running from the nearby grassland into the ditches. Then yards from the carpark my first 'passing people' with dogs and a puppy, so obviously I had to stop for a cuddle before heading home! 🐾

Happy new year folks. 🤗🥂🎉

There are still spaces available if you want to join me for this walk on Tuesday. 🌲🌳🌤

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