Friday, June 23, 2017

Lynford Arboretum at Thetford Forest


Lynford Arboretum at Thetford Forest in Norfolk

A few weeks ago I paid a visit to Thetford Forest, in particular, to Lynford Arboretum, a beautiful spot located in the North East corner of the forest, and somewhere I’d not been to before, so I was keen to give the old camera a bit of an airing and to see what I could see.

Owned by the Forestry Commission, it is the UK’s largest man made lowland forest and covers over 18,700 hectares, and is a Site of Special Scientific Interest. The forest was created after the First World War to provide a strategic reserve of timber, since the country had lost so many oaks and other slow-growing trees as a consequence of the war's demands.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Cotswolds tour part two


Cotswolds village of Bourton on the water and the River Windrush

On the second day of my mini tour around the Gloucestershire Cotswolds, I found myself in the early spring sunshine on the banks of the River Windrush, as it slowly ambles through the popular Cotswold village of Bourton-on-the-Water.

The term village of course is somewhat of a misnomer, as the number of permanent residents in Bourton outnumber those of nearby Stow-on-the-Wold and Burford, both of which are considered small market towns, despite neither of them boasting a market. It’s all very confusing. 

During peak tourist months, the number of visitors easily outrank residents, which, if you’ve ever visited during the summer, and seen the hordes of people lounging next to the river and milling around the shops, is not hard to believe for a second.

Saturday, June 3, 2017

Cotswolds tour part one



Cotswold village of Guiting Power on a sunny day with beautiful flowers

Not long ago, I took a little jaunt around the Cotswolds for a couple of days with a friend of mine who is writing a photography book about the area. We went to scout out a few suitable views that could be included, both the classic spots, and the less visited ones. Which of course gave me ample opportunity to snaffle a few pics of my own, and I took my full English pleasure at such an occasion. 

The first stop was the picturesque village of Guiting Power. This charming little place does have its fair share of visitors, as it lies on the path of the Warden’s Way, a popular walking route, but it’s certainly not on the tourist trail, and is never very busy. But with its quiet lanes and quintessential Cotswold stone houses, it is one of my favourite places to visit in this part of the Cotswolds. Plus it has a very decent cafe right next to the village green which doesn’t hurt.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Bluebells at Waresley & Gransden Woods


Panoramic image of beautiful bluebells at The Wildlife Trust Waresley & Gransden Woods

Following on from my recent visit to see the bluebells at Brampton Wood, I took a trip over to Waresley & Gransden Woods to do the same. I was in two minds whether to go, as there are only so many shots of bluebells you can take in a season until they all start looking the same, so I didn't have high hopes in getting anything new.


Of ancient origin, having been part of the local landscape for thousands of years, Waresley and Gransden Woods are a 54 hectare biological Site of Special Scientific Interest that contain predominantly ash, maple and hazel, with parts of the wood replanted earlier this century with oak, beech and sycamore. They are home to many breeding birds, an abundance of wildflowers, and over 500 species of moth and butterfly.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Brampton Wood Bluebells


Woodland filled with bluebells at Brampton Wood Nature Reserve

Last week I took a trip to Brampton Wood, in search of bluebells, in fact I took two trips as it's a fairly large wood, and I couldn't do it justice in just one visit. In fact two trips barely grazes the surface of this fascinating place, but as it was the bluebell display I was after, that would just have to do, for now.

Brampton Wood, at 326 acres, is the second largest ancient woodland in Cambridgeshire, and is at least 900 years old. The first records date back to the Doomsday Book, “woodland pasture - half a league long and 2 furlongs wide”, when animals such as pigs used to feed on acorns. A large earth bank marks its ancient boundary, the bank and ditch barrier were built in the Middle Ages, to protect the wood from invading cattle and to keep pasture animals inside. There are several other minor banks and ditches within the wood, thought to be prehistoric field drainage systems.