Country diary: the woodland is intoxicating at this time of year
Bramshaw Telegraph, New Forest The heather is fading but there are so many fallen trees to explore, each with its diverse community of fungi
Without doubt, 200 years ago our walk would have made a slow start. We would have been watching with fascination the sliding shutters of the new signalling station, constructed as part of the chain linking Plymouth with London and Portsmouth. Skilful combination of its six panels could transmit messages at astonishing speed. Today only the place name, Bramshaw Telegraph, is left to remind us what once stood here.
Patches of wire wool – actually the lichen Cladonia portentosa – lighten up the fading hues of the heathers as we cross Studley Head. A deeply rutted track forewarns of forestry work ahead. A notice as we enter the woodland confirms this and urges caution: thinning is under way again in the Island Thorns Inclosure.