A walk in the Woodland Trust
A fresh start.
Now I am the first to admit that I am not really a morning person. Every day I curse the alarm, hitting the off button in disbelief before turning over, wrapping the duvet around me in defiance and promising myself just five more minutes. So it was with some reluctance that I agreed to doing an early morning walk for this issue of the magazine, and why I am still half asleep as I fumble with my hat and wellies in the carpark of the Woodland Trust over at Great Glemham whilst Sarah and Kerry, both larks I discover, are looking distinctly bright and breezy!
We chose Pound Farm because it is just a five minute drive from Framlingham and with over 400 acres of woodland to explore, is perfect for either a long dog walk or just a quick blast of fresh air before settling down to a day in the office. Now that the evenings have well and truly closed in, getting up and out early might be the only opportunity we get to see daylight during the winter months and is, so I am reliably informed, a great way to start the day. Once I have caught up, we turn left out of the carpark and follow a wide track through the trees. The dogs, Skipper, Frank and Woody, bound ahead through a carpet of autumn leaves and we soon arrive at a swathe of open grassland where the frost still lingers beneath the hedgerow. With a selection of well-marked paths to choose from we decide to head in a vaguely circular direction and a small bridge takes us across a stream. We then walk along the side of more mature woodland where ash, oak, maple and silver birch fight for supremacy.
Managed by the Woodland Trust, the reserve is a mix of young and ancient woodland and there are five ponds that provide a rich habitat for local wildlife. We soon come across one of these ponds and the terriers enjoy racing around it in an impromptu game of tag and, whilst we are preoccupied trying to take arty photographs of a dead oak tree, one of them gives us the slip. We are forced to set off in hot pursuit, whistling and calling as we try to track him down, eventually emerging on to a beautiful ride that offers sweeping views in both directions. We soon spot the naughty hound ahead and reunited, follow a path that leads us through a spinney where some of the older trees are sporting coats of mossy green. The screech of a jay signals the way ahead and a raised boardwalk brings us out on the home straight. As we wander back we notice several benches that bear commemorative plaques, and agree that it must be lovely to be able to come to this serene and peaceful place to sit and share your thoughts with a loved one.
With the sound of ‘Skipper… Skip… Skipper’ still ringing in my ears, I am now well and truly awake, and as the sky above turns from watery grey to the palest of blues I feel myself warming to this early morning adventure. And who knows, perhaps tomorrow I will get off to another fresh start.