Early last Sunday morning, 20th June, I went to the forest. It was quiet and very green. There was no-one else there. Rain was falling on the Lost Pond. Under the trees there was just a gentle rustle in the leaves. And a luminous light off the water. I was in a green church full of birdsong. Continue reading “A Tree For Jazmin Velasco”
This is the cricket ground at Roebuck Green, Buckhurst Hill where we started from. Maybe I should’ve titled this post Walking With Shadows, I was so taken with them that’s almost all I photographed, they were so strong and well-defined. It was a bright Sunday and for once, instead of avoiding the busier parts of the forest, we just dived straight in, choosing to follow the wider paths. Mostly it was not too crowded. Continue reading “An Easter Sunday Walk”
For the first time in months we slipped out of the house and into the car and drove to the quietest part of the forest. There were distant sounds of dogs barking from the kennels over the fields and the woods were a chorus of all kinds of birdsong (this place is noted for nightingales) but there were no other people, so that counts as quiet. Some parts of the forest can get overrun, especially on a holiday weekend, but this is not one of them. All day we saw only two other people and they were on horseback. We were the only walkers. But we met many trees. The first was this broken tree, with half of its crown folded and fallen upside down to the ground, its branches radiating all around like an asterisk or a baptismal cross, symbolic of life, death, rebirth and regeneration. It’s a sign of Easter. Would it be renewed and resurrected by the time we returned? I hoped so. Continue reading “A Good Friday Walk”
Toby Jones, Andrew Kötting (as a straw bear) and their merry men revive the wanderings and wonderings of Northamptonshire peasant poet John Clare, on a quest “for scenes where man hath never trod”.
Toby Jones, Iain Sinclair and Andrew Kötting (dressed as a Straw Bear), made a five-day walk from Epping Forest to Helpston in Northamptonshire, following in the footsteps of the poet John Clare. Clare’s delirious march is the spine of the project. A great English pilgrimage, a self-enacted novel in the tradition of Pilgrim’s Progress.
A film by Andrew Kötting, with Iain Sinclair, Freddie Jones, Toby Jones, David Aylward, Eden Kötting, Simon Kovesi, MacGillivray, Alan Moore and many more.
This green cathedral is at Jacks Hill, Epping Forest. It was October 2020, the last time it was safe to go walking in the woods. The Covid beast has been at large and we’ve all been advised to stay at home. But deep in the forest, away from the crowds, is perhaps the safest place to be. I’m writing this in late March, the sun is shining outside and I am missing the trees. Continue reading “Walking In The Woods (3)”
I’ve been coming to Epping Forest for over 40 years, but I never saw this magnificent oak pollard at Rushey Plain pond before today. Complete with wasps nest. There’s always something new to discover here, and it all looks different every time. Continue reading “Walking In The Woods (2)”
I’ve been suffering woods withdrawal, I’m yearning for a dose of the green stuff. It seems like such a long time since we ventured more than a few miles from home to go for a walk in the woods. So I’ve been scouring the archives for unposted photos, stashed away overlooked down the back of the sofa or hidden in the depths of a forgotten rucksack. Epping Forest has been out of bounds because of COVID-19 restrictions, but I managed to find a few photos we took earlier, before lockdown. Continue reading “Walking In The Woods (1)”
A way-sign lost in the brambles, another signpost in the passage of time. The year telescopes down with each remembered walk swallowed up by the next one. The days are condensed, each shorter than the last (now getting longer), summer sunshine stored away to illuminate winter hibernation. Continue reading “Galley Hill Green”
We first discovered Epping Long Green a week ago – Epping Long Green (1) – but then realised we’d only seen a part of it, so today we came back to explore its full length. We started from Epping Green and walked west, retracing our steps from last week as far as this fingerpost. Then we turned around and walked back and continued east to the furthest extent before returning to where we started from. But not before a quick figure-of-eight turnaround in the woods. Continue reading “Epping Long Green (2)”
Epping Forest was busy. There was plenty of space for everyone to walk comfortably, but it seemed like social distancing among the trees had become the new normal, and the car parks were all full. Previously, as a last resort, we’d parked on the roadside at Baldwin’s Hill. The bonus was a glass of beer from the doorway of the Foresters Arms, before plunging downhill into the forest for a gently meandering walk along Loughton Brook. But today it felt safer to avoid the crowds, and instead of going into the centre of the forest, I looked for somewhere quieter on the outskirts. Continue reading “Epping Long Green (1)”