A Walk in Wivenhoe Wood
With the glorious autumnal sunshine continuing to brighten up the North Essex estuary, @AnnaJCowen and I took a Saturday afternoon leisurely stroll through Wivenhoe Wood. During our house hunting phase of some six months ago, we somehow managed to get lost in the small wooded land adjacent to the train line. Now firmly bedded down (sort of) in the town, it was time to go wood walking once again.
The weather was simply delightful for the afternoon. The sun pierced down through the canopy of trees, lighting up lost trails, and shining down on many otherwise hidden holes and wildlife openings. This was the first serious wellies workout of our great North Essex coastal adventure.
The ever excellent Wivenhoe Encyclopedia continues to be my online guide. It is wonderful to then take this information offline, and go exploring the local surroundings yourself. On Wivenhoe Wood, the Encyclopedia elaborates:
“Colchester Borough Council (CBC) owns most of Wivenhoe Wood with the balance owned by Wivenhoe Town Council. The wood is part of the Colne Local Nature Reserve and as such its long term future is safeguarded and its wildlife value increased with opportunities for people to enjoy and learn about nature.
In 1999, plans were agreed by CBC to create the Colne Local Nature Reserve to include Wivenhoe Wood, Lower Lodge Farm open space and Wivenhoe Ferry Marsh. This initiative is part of a strategic approach to developing and managing of an extensive network of Local Nature Reserves in Colchester.
The wood covers an area of approximately 16.5 ha (40.7 acres). It lies on the northern side of the River Colne on rising ground between Essex University and Wivenhoe, Colchester, and adjoins other Borough Council-owned open spaces and lies close to the Upper Colne Marshes Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI).”
This SSSI for us on Saturday became something of a fungi hunt. The family friendly Fungi Forage taking place in the wood this Sunday is sadly already booked to capacity. Plus @AnnaJCowen and I would have to kidnap a small kid to qualify.
We found half a dozen different types of fungi, with the temptation to munch away, and then come up smiling sometime on Monday morning. But with Blair Witch type brances starting to crowd our approach, this was no time for magic mushroom nonsense.
Our path ahead was a rich carpet of conkers and chesnuts. Wood pigeons punctuated any gaps in the canopy above us, all the way until we reached the top of the town towards Broomgrove.
The photos captured along the way were hit and miss. I’m still not entirely happy with the Nikon SLR. The colours appear flat. Photoshop has been my friend.
Still, at least we didn’t get lost in the 40.7 acres, and met a number of Wivenhoe Wood ramblers along the way. Must return at some stage with the MTB…