Forest Fun

We've been a bit fanatical about forests lately.

Without knowing, we luckily picked the best time of year to spend a sunny week in the New Forest, just as the heather comes into bloom. Total fluke. What a beautiful sight and so striking to see the vivid pink next to the dark green of the pre-historic looking bracken. I have a lot of respect for bracken - did you know that there is fossil evidence to suggest that this fern dates back over 55 million years? Now that is an evolutionary success story.

I saw this interesting clump of holly, brambles and two different types of heather all growing together in the grass.

As a little girl, I remember family camping trips to the New Forest, but my sole obsession was the ponies. I don't really remember much else being there! My little wild child was just as delighted to see the ponies, but also spent a lot of time just running round in giant circles. I think she was overwhelmed by the space and sense of freedom...

And of course we spent a great deal of time in amongst the trees. Here some of the things we did:

We stroked the carpet-like moss growing on the tree trunks and looked up at the canopes of ancient oaks and enormous pines.

We looked for insects and had a competition to find strangely shaped sticks.

 And we made smiley faces under the trees with fallen pine cones, stones and sticks. Then we made a nature table back at the cottage we rented using the treasures we collected during the week.

We had great fun in the forest (punctuated with the odd tantrum - goes without saying). I'm off to look up where our nearest Forest School is so we can get our tree-fix on a regular basis and a little closer to home!

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