Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Searching for ancient woodlands

We have come to realise that it is fun to search for ancient woodlands. There are books describing where to find them, and it entails visiting all sorts of places we would probably not otherwise see. We went to three woods on our recent holiday in Shropshire, some on the well trodden route at Croft Castle, but we did not find the really ancient ones here, then we visited Shrawley woods, much of which seemed to be behind fences saying 'Keep out'. The woods were of small leafed lime trees and were right beside us for a long while. The final woods we tried to visit, but did not really see properly, due to failing light, were at Lords Hill near Snailbeach, where there is a stand of ancient holly. To find this we had to cross the Long Mynd, quite a hairy car ride. Then the road went down a lane so small it had grass growing along it's length and there were two closed gates along the way! I found this quite daunting, and might have chosen to turn round, but when we found someone opening and closing the gates and going through as though it was all quite normal, we followed suit. All these visits were just tasters, and much more time could be spent at each of them, as well as exploring many other sites, we have many holidays of searching ahead I hope...

Shrawley Woods, small leafed lime trees

Lords Hill Snailbeach, - hollies

Croft Castle - collection of ancient trees

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