The Wild Edges

Jelly Green has brought us a windowful of wonders. Tour buses also bring sightseers to look at it. It’s a garden of delights. This time last year she was heavy with child, and as an expectant mother she’d been advised not to have the Covid vaccination. So she was staying clear of infection by keeping a low profile, waiting in lockdown, but still busy and venturing out into the woods and the quiet places to paint, and to paint, and to paint… Continue reading “The Wild Edges”

Frames of reference

A Walk From Hawkley

These ancient yew trees are in the churchyard at Hawkley in Hampshire. I’d discovered them via the Ancient Tree Inventory. We’d come down from London to meet Howard Phipps who was coming up from Salisbury with a windowful of wood engravings in the back of his car. And surprisingly we got there first, so I went looking for trees. Continue reading “A Walk From Hawkley”

Frames of reference

St Paul’s Walden & Around

Another Sunday church, another country walk. This was June last year, and another from the Hertfordshire Walks website. We started out at the church in St Paul’s Walden. I guessed it must be called St Paul’s, but when I searched online just now I found All Saints Church. And I also found its vicar is Canon Stephen Fielding, who we knew from St Mary Abbots in Kensington. What a small world! I wish now that we’d stopped to say hello. He had introduced a Living Advent Calendar to Kensington, so that the windows of local businesses became part of a borough-wide Christmas countdown. We had twice taken part at the Rowley Gallery with special window displays by Joseph Silcott in 2016 and Susie Freeman in 2017. Continue reading “St Paul’s Walden & Around”

Frames of reference

Fools & Dreamers: Regenerating A Native Forest

Fools & Dreamers: Regenerating a Native Forest is a 30-minute documentary telling the story of Hinewai Nature Reserve, on New Zealand’s Banks Peninsula, and its kaitiaki/manager of 30 years, botanist Hugh Wilson. When, in 1987, Hugh let the local community know of his plans to allow the introduced ‘weed’ gorse to grow as a nurse canopy to regenerate farmland into native forest, people were not only skeptical but outright angry – the plan was the sort to be expected only of “fools and dreamers”.

Now considered a hero locally and across the country, Hugh oversees 1500 hectares resplendent in native forest, where birds and other wildlife are abundant and 47 known waterfalls are in permanent flow. He has proven without doubt that nature knows best – and that he is no fool.

Find out more about the film at foolsanddreamers.com.

Frames of reference

Little Berkhamsted & Essendon

St Andrew’s Church at Little Berkhamsted is, like so many village churches, a place of worship surrounded by trees. Ancient trees are often found in churchyards. I imagine they’re vestigial survivors of the original forest, before it was cleared for farming and agriculture. Or planted as replicas of the Garden of Eden. A woodland glade is a naturally consecrated place. Continue reading “Little Berkhamsted & Essendon”

Frames of reference

From Ayot St Lawrence (Again)

Earlier this year (it was April, a week after we’d walked from Aspenden), and a walk that went unrecorded, in waybegone daze, that seems more like eight years ago now than just eight months. How can one year feel like so many more? We’d returned to Ayot St Lawrence again, but this time we’d been spun off in a different direction to last time. Continue reading “From Ayot St Lawrence (Again)”

Frames of reference

Silton Oak, Dorsetshire

Engrav’d by J.Greig for the Antiquarian & Topographical Cabinet
from a Drawing by J.Fenton Esq.

When this engraving was first published in 1810, the Silton Oak was already considered to be an antiquarian and topographical curiosity. Over 200 years later and it still charms us with its stoic endurance, a vigorous but shrinking survivor of a once much larger millennial oak tree. Continue reading “Silton Oak, Dorsetshire”

Frames of reference

A Holloways Walk

We came to Symondsbury for breakfast, the best coffee and bacon roll in months, then down past the church and up the hill to Shute’s Lane. We were staying under Eggardon and we’d already driven down a tunnel of green lanes to get here. This one was closed to traffic so now we were on foot. Continue reading “A Holloways Walk”

Frames of reference