Sunday, 7 May 2017

Where The Wild Things Are

These are not just bluebells. They're Forest of Dean bluebells. 

But first the view from New Fancy viewpoint because the Northerner hasn't really got much idea of the size of the Forest, and I like the name New Fancy, and the viewpoint
used to be the spoilheap of the eponymous mine and mining is of especial interest to a Barnsley lad. 


Then on to Soudley Ponds, which might or might not be part of the Forest's industrial landscape, having perhaps been dug out in the 18th century to provide water for the furnaces in the valley ...
... or perhaps in the 19th to provide some decent fishing for the landowner. 

Maybe we should consult the Chronicles of Trees. 


Beyond the long necklace of ponds we were in Sutton Bottom and Wallsprings Wood and this was where the bluebells started in earnest. 


I have to say that they weren't quite as spectacular as they've been in previous years. I don't know if this is because it's a different part of the Forest and they are a little thinner on the ground here ... 


... or maybe the conditions haven't been quite as favourable ...  


... but actually, I much preferred not being overwhelmed by them. As for location, we couldn't have been in a better spot, as we had it entirely to ourselves. 


Well, maybe not entirely. I mean, you could easily imagine encountering Titania or Oberon or one of the star-crossed lovers here ... 


... or even Bottom. 


I actually did spot a mole dreaming butterfly dreams.


There's nowhere quite like the Forest. The Northerner was very taken with it. A brief reverie about winning the lottery and living there without having to commute in to work ensued. 




Back at Dean Heritage Centre, we finally came across a Wild Thing. Clearly, we decided, this is Where They Are.  Except it turned out to be a Gruffalo, which was after my children's time. 


In fact, there were quite a few sculptures dotted around the car park. 


This is my favourite - a miner rescuing another. 


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