Sunday, April 29

Scenes from New Forest Ambles - Five

Hincheslea Wood - a popular place to visit (OL22: GR 275 010). Brockenhurst rail link only ten minutes away, and fed by a number of car parks.

But it sems to require too much of a concerted effort for many day trippers to cross the long expanse of green lawn, and ascend the hill. For many that ascent is too much, and so the viewpoint becomes the end of their journey.

A pity, for behind an ancient woodland with tales to tell if one only cares to look.

It's an area I have explored in the past. I'm seeking an older example of beech carvings, which I vaguely remember is amongst this ancient mixed woodland.

Into the long circular walk in the sun, I include a few of my favourite spots.

The primrose bank. Found by accident many years ago, the old railway embankment disused since the 1960s now annually provides a protected haven for a carpet of yellow primrose flowers. Access to it is difficult, (perhaps a tiny bit illegal?) and so the grassy path following the top of the embankment remains well drained and protected from pony, deer and human intervention.

But I'm too late this year. The primrose promise has died back to a few late stragglers
(And no - I'm not letting on where it is)

Next, a strange anomaly. A splendidly unique building for the english countryside, but even more so hidden away amongst the ancient woodland of the New Forest.

The first time I caught sight of it through the trees I had to backtrack and recheck, its appearance was so unlikely. A huge log cabin, Alpine Chalet style, two stories high, and equally as large in its ground space. But a place with a sad story to tell.

It always looked like a family home from the clues of playground (what a playground!) swimming pool and toys, but never any sign of activity, save occasional smoke from a chimney.

And then one year a little too much smoke. I was shocked next time I passed.

A major fire had totally destroyed the wooden roof, and burnt much of the timber walling down. A charred mass. Each visit I hope to see the author of this little bit of Switzerland pick up their pen, to rework their magic, but to date no rebuilding has been done.

And then today, a nearby barn with signs of construction equipment. A couple of portacabins.

Perhaps a new lease of life for a very special place? I do hope so.

(BTW - both pictures were taken on the same day. From the rear it gives an idea of what it was, and possibly may be again)


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