A future Hertfordshire wood

A walk with Jen and the Hitchins in a Hertfordshire wood which doesn't exit yet: Heartwood Forest, a Woodland Trust initiative to create a 850 acre wood from open fields in just 12 years.

I have to say, the open fields which are to be replaced are looking rather beautiful at the moment, with all their poppies and cornflowers:

Poppy field
Poppies and cornflowers.
Hornbeam coppice
Formerly coppiced hornbeam.

But new British woodland must surely be a very good thing. Especially when it will join together existing smaller woods, two of which we walked through.

The trees were mostly hornbeams—a species unfamiliar to this Northerner. Many of them had formerly been coppiced, but not for many years, so the trees had now grown to great height from a common base, giving them a surreal, rather eerie look, reminding me rather bizarrely of giant bulbs of celery.

A number of low earthworks ran around the woods, many of them marked by hornbeam coppices. These were presumably some sort of boundary markers, the significance of which is now no longer readily apparent.

More photos | slideshow

Leave a Reply