Friends of Clayfield Copse – by Jude Oliver
Second Saturday of November, late afternoon in Blackhouse Wood, golden sunlight on autumn coloured leaves, the sound of happy children. The older ones playing on makeshift swings and cycling in The Dip. Along the path, a younger child is balancing along a fallen log, another exploring one of the many dens made from fallen branches and another sitting on a log having a snack. So many are enjoying this natural open space.
Revisiting on Tuesday the stillness surrounds you, the beech trees look on fire. A leaf spirals down, then a twitter of small birds passing through, and back to silence.
So many people have discovered this haven during lockdown.
The Friends Clayfield Copse had planned autumn guided walks, but COVID stepped in. So they decided a self-guided tree trail was one answer. Ten trees along a stretch of Blackhouse Wood were selected and information to identify them and tell their stories was put up on each tree. It seems to have been popular. The trail is in place until the end of November, so there is still time to make the most of this local treasure.
The Friends are still planning a guided walk a week later than originally advertised, on 6 December provided the COVID restrictions allow it. Check their Facebook page for information – www.facebook.com/friendsofclayfieldcopse