A stunning walk yesterday in a beautifully sunny, but blustery day.
Wandering along Latchmore brook I was accompanied by the rattling flight of dragonflies and an intense heat on my neck out of the wind as I wound my way between gorse bushes heading towards Hasley inclosure.
Stepping through the gate into a completely different landscape and atmosphere, this ungrazed inclosure is sheltered with a softness of tall conifers and wildflower rides all gently hugged by lime green bracken.
A sanctuary for butterflies, if they are able to land long enough before being whipped up by the passing breeze. Goshawks called from high in the canopy which created a kerfuffle amongst the woodland birds. I meandered the undulating track while breathing in the wonderful pine aroma before reaching the gate back out onto the sandy track of the heath where Stonechats were very vocal and skylarks are still singing from the skies.
Entering Sloden inclosure the forest seemed silent other than the sound of the wind in the canopies, I took a moment to rest and observe the balmy forest on Eric Ashby's commemorative bench and could understand why he loved these woods.
Back on the move it was time to climb the short but steep hill up onto Hampton ridge, but well worth it as I was rewarded with the most magnificent view across the old bombing range while getting my breath back.
This beautiful valley of bogs, mires, ponds, heath and grassland is hard to imagine how it once was, a military base for bouncing bombs and concrete targets, how wonderful nature is to take this back to create such beauty from such destruction, with the only thing taking flight across the still existing directional arrow were buzzards who circled on the thermals before disappearing into the far fetching views across the forest.
If you would like to join me for this walk next week see the link 👇