In the week since I last visited Watling Wood the beginnings of summer have taken hold. A month ago it still appeared to be recovering from winter, barely buds breaking on the tree branches. Now the branches hang with the weight of full foliage. Life in Watling Wood is at its most abundant. As I slowly manoeuvre between the trees, rabbits hop away into the undergrowth. Pink apple blossoms promise coming fruit, cherry trees already bear the beginnings of their crops in amongst the last of the falling petals.
The ground is dry, the depression of the stream and pond cracked through lack of water, but the long slim stems of iris’ are breaking through the soil and reaching into the blue sky. The wood is a foragers paradise, young tender nettles spread across the woodland floor, autumn leaf fall filling them with nutrients, wild garlic fills the air with its aroma, joined by the fresh scent of water mint as it breaks under foot. Bird song fills the air and the sun, it backlights the greenery, the blue of the sky against the yellows and greens of the shimmering leaves makes it perfect.