Yesterday we were taken on a 5.5 mile walk around Bradiford and into a lovely little wood called Tutshill Wood.
To get there we had to cut across open grassy fields of nothingness; all that lovely space for the freedom to spring our arms open and embrace the sun in glee. However it was a properly windy day. At 45 mph the wind wasn’t joking at all, in fact it blew my cap off three times despite my best efforts at holding it down.
We walked past some lovely wood pasture trees that provided shelter and shade for grazing animals like sheep and cows, which are common in many parts of Devon. Open grown trees like the oak above are just examples of how trees – when given space to expand their trunks and extend their branches and crowns – can grow and age naturally with great potential to be veteran, without having to worry about other trees competing with them for space and light. Grazing animals keep new saplings in check and ensure that growing conditions for wood pasture trees remain prime.
Walking through Tutshill Wood was a special experience. There was hazel, oak, beech, sycamore and ash, some of which were fairly well established. Their multi-stemmed forms framed my vision and we also spotted a standing dead stem riddled with woodpecker holes (didn’t see any woodpeckers although we heard them!). The dense canopy, which provided much shelter from the elements, made me feel like I was wandering through an unexplored primary rainforest, with the sparkling stream to my left glimpsing out occasionally amongst the green.
Coming out of the wood, we were greeted by a lovely lone oak silhouetted against the afternoon sun. The wind whipped up our hair once again as we strolled across a field of cows grazing nonchalantly, obviously used to the presence of their two legged compatriots.
It was certainly a very nice walk and I’ll be sure to visit this wood again and stroll through at my own pace.