Wednesday, December 28

Ancient Forrests

Spooky woods
We are in the lovely lull between Christmas and the New Year when the only thing to do is go with the flow. Nobody answers emails. Shops are mostly closed. London is cold and a good book beckons. As I read "A Song Of Fire And Ice", all five volumes at c.800 pages each, I have a week before work becomes a distraction.

We drive to Oxford to walk the Wytham Woods, an area of ancient woodlands owned by Oxford and used for environmental research. The woods were bequeathed the university in 1942 by the ffennel family, after the death of their lonely daughter, Hazel, for their upkeep, study and educational use. There are over 500 species of vascular plants and 800 species of butterflies and moths here.

Wytham is one of the most researched woodlands in the world from birds to badgers and, more recently, the impacts of climate change.

‘Let this wretched year come to an end.’
--George R.R. Martin summarises 2016