Friday, 7 November 2014

Autumn has Arrived in Church Woods on our Dog Walk

Almost every day, Ann, Digby Dog and I go off to Church Woods in the village of Hedgerley for our Dog Walk.

The woods itself has many facets and vistas but taking my camera today was inspired by the golden carpet of Beech Leaves that brighten the walk where a large group of Beech Trees were planted many years ago.

While we vary our route from time to time, this weeks direction takes us across the Churchyard through an old metal Kissing Gate

It is but a short walk down the hill before entering the woods.

Despite the recent negative report on the RSPB by Ian Botham, the woodland and wild animals here in Church Woods are largely left alone. 

However there is some strange policy regarding the trees where seemingly dangerous trees are left alone to fall over and other strong trees are felled.

Just inside the gate to the woods were some Cherry Trees which were recently felled and it inspired me to add to my personal quirks.

I found this Large Heavy Slice of Cherry Tree and placed it high on one of the Stumps. It has been there for some weeks now but occasionally some killjoy knocks it off. 

Another idea was to place the original cut as a 'Chip off of the Old Block' . Again most of these wedges disappeared. I can only assume onto someones log burner.

 The path is quite dark and overgrown and suddenly there is the area that I wanted to photograph, The Golden Beech Leaves. I have left it a bit late as two days of rain have darkened the golden orange. 

 Digby spots the dreaded camera and make a bee line for some cover. 

 Ann took over the camera and spotted this old chap heading up the hill.

 Oh. It was me.

 Suddenly the sun is out and the whole hillside looks even brighter,

Half way up this Power Line Cutting may be seen the one and only RSPB 'Hide' with its Commemorative Seat. 
I have never seen the Hide open save for a few volunteers using extra seats stored inside.   

 As a special treat for my daughter, I have added what she calls The Weighing Tree from a previous visit, featuring our two grandsons.  

 Along the next path is another of our use of discarded logs. 
They were the perfect size and quantity for us to set up these four seats. These have also been vandalised a few times.

 Here is another recently felled tree stump where I have gathered two of the wedges. 

At this point we go off road road and follow a Deer Path. For a while we have had to duck under this large branch until I found this perfect 'Prop'   

 These Cages have been erected by the volunteers to prevent the Deer from eating the thicket. The RSPB are hoping to grow back a new habitat for nesting. 

In this cutting made by one of the Winter Streams can be seen the Roots of one of the many fallen trees.

 The power of a Falling Tree can be seen clearly where this smaller Silver Birch tree has twisted and bent the much larger tree trunk.

 Forever the Explorer with my bramble swishing stick in hand.

 Hers Truly, complete in Deer Stalker Hat and Waxed Jacket  

 In this tree can be seen two more of the many British Airways Peanut Bags which have fallen from above.

 One of the advantages of using the deer paths keeps us out of the mud on the main paths churned up by heavy boots and mountain bike riders.

 Climbing the last hill on our walk passes the only other formal seating area. in the foreground is the last of my Tree Stump Wedges. 

 We cross under the Power lines at the top of the hill. To the left, the Hide can just be seen in the distance. Our route to the right also follows under the lines. 

 This stump, surrounded by brambles, may look natural but is another of my 'seat' structures made from a log.. I don't suppose anyone has ever sat on it, other than me.

 This side path leads to a small meadow enclosure who's upkeep is sponsored by Aviva.

 Nearing the end of the walk we exit the woods through a gate at the back of the Churchyard.

 The Brick Path takes us around the Church to the Main Gate where Digby waits trying to escape my camera again.. 

 I cannot resist taking another photo of the church. The colours strengthen and change with the seasons. 

 In the meadow, next to the new Orchard, are the three English White Cows recently located here from Burnham Beeches, can be seen enjoying their winter resting place. Look carefully for the two heads on those two lying down

 Ann and Digby are way ahead of me at the main gate.

 Ann's Chariot awaits us in the road outside.

Even more important. Out watering hole at the White Horse next door where we will enjoy a tasty cup of coffee.