A Visit to Browns Wood

It was Good Friday yesterday, the traditional day for planting ‘ones’ potatoes. Easter is earlier than usual this year and soil conditions are not right for planting out spuds at the moment, we decided to give the allotment a miss and made our way to Browns Wood instead. You can’t waste a rain-free bank holiday!

woodland walk

Although it wasn’t raining the weather is stuck on constant ‘freeze-your-bits-off mode’, we wrapped up warm and walked the short distance to Browns Wood entrance. We’re incredibly fortunate to have beautiful woodland such as this right on our doorstep.

Entrance to Browns Wood via Oakley village, Bedfordshire
Entrance to Browns Wood millennium site via Oakley village, Bedfordshire

Fallow land adjoining Browns Wood was used to mark the millennium with 26,000 trees planted and paid for by the Forestry Commission, set out with pathways and large open areas of grassland, the tree planting scheme extended the woodland site by 31 acres. This area is also known as Millennium Browns Wood. The main trees are Ash, Oak, and Field Maple with Beech and Hornbeam at the top of the hill. Excellent views over Bedfordshire can be seen from this area.

Views of bedfordshire farmland from Millennium Browns Wood
Views of Bedfordshire farmland from Browns Wood millennium site
Young trees planted to celebrate the Millennium, extending the already beautiful Browns Wood
Young trees planted to celebrate the millennium, extending the already beautiful Browns Wood
Millennium Browns Wood
 Browns Wood millennium site

There’s a public bridleway path via Oakley village entrance to Browns Wood, it’s also a great place to walk dogs.

Public Bridleway at Millennium Browns Wood, entrance via Oakley, Bedfordshire
Public bridleway at Browns Wood, entrance via Oakley, Bedfordshire
Teasel can be found at the site of Millennium Browns Wood. Teasels are visited by bees when in flower, and birds when seeding.

Teasel can be found everywhere at the millennium site of Browns Wood. Visited by bees and butterflies when in flower and birds when seeding.

Tree pruning in Browns Wood
Tree pruning in Browns Wood
Millenium Browns Wood on the hill. Can you see the trees of ancient Browns Wood in the distance?
Browns Wood millennium site on the hill. Can you see the trees of ancient Browns Wood in the distance?
Ghost leaves. Beech leaves hanging on from winter, rustling in the wind with a ghostly sound.
Ghost leaves. Beech leaves hanging on from winter, rustling in the wind creating a ghostly sound.

We continued on and made our way to the oldest part Browns Wood. This beautiful ancient woodland dates back to around 1750 and was planted by the Duke of Bedford. Full of mature trees and woodland plants, it’s an important area for many species of wildlife and a magical place to wander through.

Browns Wood information board
Browns Wood information board

The odd spell of sunshine managed to filter through the canopy of naked trees (wearing nothing but years of ivy), illuminating the woodland floor.

Woodland floor of Browns Wood
Woodland floor
Browns Wood
Browns Wood

Browns Wood

browns wood

Browns Wood
Browns Wood

Fallen trees blanketed in a rich woodland carpet, the perfect habitat for many species of wildlife.

moss covered fallen tree
Moss covered fallen tree

The forest floor glittered in shades of green. New shoots emerging to find the light, protected from the cruel weather by ancient woodland guards standing to attention.

Forest floor, Browns Wood Bedfordshire
Woodland floor, Browns Wood Bedfordshire

After an enjoyable walk we made our way back home, cold but recharged by being outdoors.

millennium browns wood hill

Look what a bit of fresh air does to me!

browns wood

Happy Easter everyone!

Washout Weekend

The Easter bank holiday weekend was pretty much a washout, rain, rain and more rain. Mind you we had lots planned, what with family visiting on Sunday and shopping in Milton Keynes with the kids on Monday, I hardly had time for gardening anyway. I managed to visit my allotment on Good Friday to plant potatoes, then a quick visit on Saturday morning to plant some raspberry canes and a few other bits and bobs.

Last night was very windy and today we had a hail storm, complete with thunder and lightning. Very strange and unsettled weather at the moment, I’m delaying sowing outside for fear of my seeds being washed away!

I’ve recently discovered field mice are digging up my early pea seeds and eating them (they were just sprouting too). A few of the broad bean seedlings were left half eaten, the mice are digging down to the bean and chomping the top growth clean off. I can keep deer out of the garden but not the mice, it’s just one of those things I’m afraid, gardening alongside nature. All I can do is start the peas off again but in the greenhouse this time, planting out later. I’ve put cabbage collars around the broad beans to prevent the mice digging in for the bean, so far this seems to be working.

I hope you had a good Easter, did you manage to get any gardening or allotment visits done, despite the lousy weather?