23 August 2023

  • Date:                     23 August 2023
  • Walk Leader:     Felicity Heal (AKA Flick)
  • Distance:             Short WALK & BBQ
  • Start:                     10:00 am at the woodland

Woodland Walk & BBQ

On a sunny day in mid-August Petersfield Ramblers enjoyed a delightful lunchtime event.  Long-standing member, Flick, has a piece of woodland in Hyden Wood, close to Clanfield, and she invited us to a BBQ and a tour of the privately-owned sections of woodland around her.  

In a clearing within her 4 acres, there is a shepherd’s hut, a round house, a stone-built BBQ and various tools for work in the wood and for cooking. There is even a marvellous compost loo, carefully screened with wattle panels, and a ‘vacant’ and ‘engaged’ sign for use as needed! As it was high summer the trees were lush with foliage, and we were delightfully immersed in nature.

Twenty-one of us assembled (plus two dogs) all bearing contributions to the lunch – sausages, burgers, bacon, rolls, salads, puddings, cakes etc. Leaving the goodies with Anne and her husband Colin who were doing the cooking, our host took us on a walk to learn about the other areas of Hyden wood which included ancient woodland, beech trees, oak trees, ash trees (all suffering from ash die-back and which would eventually likely be felled) etc, and we saw wood stacks, a treehouse, and rotting timber for the insect life. And we heard about the primroses and bluebells which would appear in the Spring – alas, not for us to see as it was the wrong season.

Flick is acquainted with some of the other woodland owners, where they live and what they do. It was interesting to see what different owners did with their ‘patch’, some mostly left the land to nature, some coppiced their hazel trees, some used the woodland as a fun place, some cut logs for wood burning stoves.

Of especial interest was an area owned by Christine and John and their son, who use their acreage as a business. They fell trees for logs to sell, make besoms from twigs and small branches (marvellous for sweeping leaves from the lawn), and they have two ‘retro’ wood burners. Christine gave us a short lecture on besom-making and explained the process of producing charcoal, all very interesting.

It was a delightful occasion – not to be missed if it gets offered again next year!

Author: Sheila Gadd

Photography: Rosemary Field

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.