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Bristol , United Kingdom
I am co-director of the Leaping Word Poetry Consultancy, which provides advice for poets on writing, editing and publishing, as well as qualified counselling support for those exploring personal issues in their work - https://theleapingword.com. My fifth poetry collection, Learning Finity, is now available from Indigo Dreams or directly from me.

Thursday, 23 September 2021

A Tale of Two Hedges ...

... but first a few photos of some local trips, longer journeys being confined to family visits at present.

In late August we went for a walk at Purdown. The woods were still green and leafy ... 

... there were still some flowers (fleabane) and bees ... 

... but best of all was this lovely old oak tucked away on the edge of Long Wood. 

We've also had a few wanders in the Frome Valley below Purdown, while Cwtch has been recuperating from being spayed. 

Eastville Lake ...

... and its heron

The hill still called Colston Hill

Cave at Black Rocks

Wickham Bridge, dating from the early 17th century

We also wandered a couple of the old lanes in Bishopston and Golden Hill, which were quiet and therefore perfect for a recuperating pup. Despite spending much of my childhood in Bishop Road, I'd never walked along Gaston Lane which runs along the top of the allotments, probably because my grandfather and great-grandfather, who both had allotments there, died before I was born. It was interesting to see familiar sights of north Bristol from a completely new angle.

We also walked down Bishop Road itself, passing the school where my grandmother, Cary Grant and Paul Dirac - three legends - were all pupils at the same time. 

My grandmother got into trouble one wintry day for going through the boys' entrance because their playground had an icier and therefore better slider than the girls'.

Her black and cream front door is now cerise. She wouldn't be impressed.

And Mrs Jeffries' sweet shop is long gone.

Horfield Prison

And then there were the hedges. The first is the celebrated Phoenix hedge, happily located close to Phoenix Grove which gave it its name, although it's believed the hedge predates the houses by about 725 years. 

The significant species in the hedge that help date it are ash, blackthorn, dog-rose, elm, field maple, hawthorn, holly and spindle. It's well loved, well-maintained as an important habitat for wildlife, and has its own interpretation board. 

Massive ash


It even has interestingly slanty sunbeams.

The other hedge, which is a scant one-third of a mile away on the far side of Tesco's car park, is longer and doesn't have a name or a board.  It clearly isn't laid or primped as regularly as its illustrious neighbour. In fact, it's so high and wide you can walk inside it in places ...

... and a cursory glance as I walked past suggested it had a fair few of the species found in the other hedge. But when I searched online, all I found were complaints from residents about it not being maintained properly. Which seems a shame.

Oh well. At least they're both still here, surviving against the odds. 

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