There was a walk through Staverton Thicks this afternoon – a very old wood once used for pollarding and as a deer park. The thickest part of it is no longer regenerating, so it is full of old oak and holly whose branches have fallen or split and continue to grow. Some very thick branches lie horizontally just inches off the ground yet their new growth shoots vertically upwards.
Apparently pollarded oaks live longer than unpollarded ones, and the shapes that they have assumed is quite eerie. Deer continue to graze, and you can see how they have nibbled at tree bark or holly leaves.
I didn’t see any birds, but I did see some bizarre sheep and rusting agricultural steam machinery. And lots of pigs in what I can only describe as a low-rise pigsty estate.