With the hot weather we've been having this spring I decided to take a day out and revisit a forest which has been my home many times over the years. Infact my first memories of the forest day back to when I was a sprog about 7 years old - on a family picnic my little brother and I, lured away but our imaginations and got lost!! All we had between us as a little pen knife (yes in those days all kids had pen knives, maybe we had more sense or maybe we just had more moral fibre and courage but no one went around stabbing people - a fact kids today find amazing!)
Anyway we wandered through the woods for hours - afraid but resolute, I can remember telling my brother not to worry as we could catch rabbits for food! Eventually we found a road and the Gods were looking out for us that day as shortly after my parents drove past - I remember seeing the car and being relieved, then seeing my mums face and feeling more fear than I did when lost!!
Older, bolder, bigger and uglier today I wandered happily around the forest, which I realised I hadnt really visited for around 10 years .......... it was a amazing feeling rediscovering trails I used to know.
The first thing that amazed me was the amount of dried up ponds I found - the south east of England is in drought and its only march!
Not to clear in the picture above but the sign in the picture says no fishing .......... no fishing?? theres no water!
Fortunately in my Snugpak daysack I did have water - infact I had a thermos flask of hot water and a waterbottle as well as the obligatory CHEESE AND PICKLE sandwiches for my lunch which I took beside one of the other ponds and chilled out in the shade!
As well as enjoying the hike I was also there to recce the area for potential wild camp sites of which I found many but discovery of a fresh series of deer tracks soon turned my head from camp sites and had me off in tracking mode - I tracked this little herd for a hour or so, manouvering the deer into a situation where I could (imagine) taking a shot to harvest one (although the only shooting I did was with my pocket camera)
Another interesting event of my hike was the discovery of three birds of Prey circling above the trees, I heard them before I saw them and when I saw them if was so breif I couldnt ID them but they were there - on line research hasnt brought up any info on BofP being spotted in the forest so thats a bit of a mystery ............
Oh well it was a good end to a cracking day where I revisited a beloved woodland and my childhood - such days are rare for their simplicity and gifts and I treasure them one and all.
Posted by Survivall at 29.3.12