Another of the indicators of ancient woodland along with bluebells and the wood anemone is the wild garlic also known as ransoms and bear’s garlic. A pungent plant, you will smell it before you see it, but attractive nevertheless, and of culinary use too!
In spring our deciduous woodlands throng with wildflowers before the trees get all their leaves and shade out the light. One of the earliest to take advantage of the spring light and warming weather, covering the forest floor with white stars from March to May, are the wood anemones.
I think bluebells are one of the most romantic flowers – just imagine a springtime walk through beech woods just beginning to get the first flush of bright lime green foliage and beneath them a knee-high carpet of cerulean blue. The nodding heads just dance in the sunshine and the perfume is divine. Continue reading
“Any mug can be miserable” a wise outdoor leader of my acquaintance was fond of saying. To enjoy the outdoors, and be safe, misery should be carefully avoided whenever possible – and a very big part of this is having the right clothes. For these walks expensive kit is not required – most people will already have the basics – the trick is having what you need with you when you need it.
This is very closely related to weather – rain, wind, sun and, frequently in these parts, all three arrive on the same day with sleet and snow sometimes thrown in as well. The weather when you leave home is unlikely to be the weather when you start walking and even less likely to be the weather you get all day. So I always take a small rucksack with enough clothes to deal with the most extreme weather I might encounter. Carrying all your clothes on your back is a sure route to misery – and probably sooner rather than later. Being too hot can be as uncomfortable as too cold (take off a layer). Getting sweaty climbing up can lead to you getting chilled when stopping to rest or eat – so put on a layer. Rain or strong wind – get your waterproof on before you get wet or chilled. Temperature drop / wind chill – get your hat and gloves on.