My favourite local walk is an easy one-hour circular walk that takes you through 4 distinct energies.
The first is of a deeply quiet evergreen wood, whose stillness and silence is so immediate I find I have to intentionally slow my feet and thoughts to meet it. The bark of these trees is almost red and they seem to soar up very high; the roots feel very, very deep here; I love this stillness the most. It’s the abode of hunting birds...I have seen and heard a fledgling Sparrow-hawk practice its flying here, making it from base tree to trees spaced only a couple of trunks along.
Emerge from here into a picnic table area with wild meadows, that reminds me somehow of the Dales where I used to live, perhaps the expanse of field and undulation of the land here, with the wood behind, framing it.
In amongst the picnic area is this carved dragon, about 3 foot high.
It is past here that we come to King Richards Well, a natural spring with a pyramidal monument built over it. It is said to be where King Richard drank in the days leading up to the near-by Battle of Bosworth.
From here we enter a native English wood and suddenly the air is alive with birds chattering. All the native U.K birds joyfully happy to be safe in the cover of their native trees (away from the evergreen Corsican Pine wood and its predators).
And now it’s over the canal bridge to return along the canal to the start, which is Sutton Wharf waterside cafe and its partner the smoothie and ice-cream narrowboat.
My favourite parts of the watery return leg, are the first and last part. The native wood comes right down to meet the canal, and standing on the canal path opposite looking over the water to the thick intriguing wood is my favourite view.
My next favourite part of the water walk is the final section before leaving the canal to head back to the starting point. This final part of the canal side walk is always home to about 40 ducks, who seem to always be sleeping (having an afternoon nap) whenever I walk by. I slow down again here, almost to a halt, my mission to make it past all the ducks sleeping right by or even on the canal path, without frightening any of them into the water.
And there we have it - an easy circular walk - that I love for its variety of natural energies, sounds and sights.
NB: very sadly after writing this article I went on a walk for extra pics like the map; only to meet two locals who tell me the new owner has begun serious thinning of both woods; and that the footpaths will be closed at some point to visitors, so they can fell; so if these trees have sparked interest in you, get in there quick.
They will be removing (and then replanting) all of the Corsican pine, and all of the Ash is to be taken from the native wood (as the Ash is dying from disease similar to what happened to Elm).
Ambion wood is named after a small village of warreners that was once here.
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