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New forest friends.

I went out to recce the Shatterford walk this morning with the company of Roz and Dodger 🐾

The heather is stunning right now, and you can never quite capture the beauty and vibrancy on camera (however talented Roz is!)

But her talent didn't go to waste. You see, if you don't know Roz personally, you wouldn't know that she is fungi obsessed! 🍄 and her darting off to contort herself to get a picture of the intricate structure of this weird and wonderful world gives me plenty of time to just stand, and be amongst the trees.

The warm breeze bought in the scent of my surroundings as I stood amongst the ancient beech trees edging Dennywood. The barrows are pronounced this time of year within the purple hazed landscape, in the sea of ling and bells. The vibrant hawkbits and dwarf gorse peppered the sandy edges of the tracks, but bizarrely doesn't seem to clash with the pinks and purples of the heath. This is where grayling butterflies and holly blues almost bounced along the heather.

Heading into a change of habitat, Denny wood was straight gravel tracks and mixed woodlands of broadleaf and conifer.... That was it, Roz had spotted something again and disappeared into the trees, while I stood and breathed in the beautiful aroma of pine carried on the breeze and listened to the crossbills chattering, high in the canopy.

The larch cones, still green and sappy were pleasing to the eye as they open and harden, and the sundrenched trees gently swayed in almost a dance of their abundance of fruits, leaves and light. It wasn't long before there was a rustling from the woods and Roz appears once more, closely followed by Dodger.

We continued along the straight track putting the world's to right as the colouring bracken gently waved to us along our way, but both of our attention was brought to an interestingly nibbled blusher fungi, and after great discussion and inspection we couldn't settle on who had, had a munch. More than one taker I suspect!

It wasn't long before we found ourselves out in the open heath once more after a short wander through the silver birch of Woodfidley passage, and a handsome oak tree stands marking the end of the treeline and the beginning of heathland.

I could almost feel my ancestors in this ancient landscape as it skips between dry heath, bogs and ponds.

This is where bog myrtle stands guard along the pond edges, and mesmerised us with its lime green tipped leaves and heady smell. Some cotton flowers were still hanging on it there, but the beautiful flowering watermint was my favourite. It was careful not to imitate the purple of the heather or the harebell,

but to have a purple pompom flower all of its own shade. Who knew purple could be defined in so many different ways??

If you would like to come and join us for this walk at Shatterford take a look at the upcoming events

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