Grovely Wood: the Motion Picture

So what of Grovely Wood, that extraordinary finding, so rich in mood, myth and history, which was to be the centrepiece of my PhD? In July, just as temperatures were starting to hot up to the terrifying heights of the 19th, I went on a visit with Adrian Stewart, Grovely’s ranger. And, sorry, but noContinue reading “Grovely Wood: the Motion Picture”

Bluebells in Grovely Wood, dammit.

I first visited Grovely Woods in late November 2021, as the last of autumn was just about clinging on, but really fell under its spell over a series of visits in December and January, savouring the sinister bleakness of deep winter woodland. Mid to late winter is a personally very difficult time for me; appreciatingContinue reading “Bluebells in Grovely Wood, dammit.”

Pheasants and phantoms in eastern Grovely.

I’d not been to the eastern end of Grovely Wood since my very first visit, back in November; I’d barely explored it when I did. On the map, as the wood falls steeply away southward from the Roman road to the Nadder valley, it appears as blocks of plantation, so I wasn’t expecting much. ButContinue reading “Pheasants and phantoms in eastern Grovely.”

Great Ridge Wood, Wilts: Grovely Wood’s divergent sibling.

Great Ridge Wood in Wiltshire, also known as Chicklade Wood, is a substantial area of mixed woodland on the same ridge as Grovely Wood, bordered by the Wylie Valley to the north and split by the busy A303; it was once a highway robbery hotspot. The same Roman road runs the length of each, andContinue reading “Great Ridge Wood, Wilts: Grovely Wood’s divergent sibling.”

Grovely Wood, Wiltshire.

How do you come across a place? Sometimes it emerges from out of the routine of life – a journey by car, a move for work, somewhere to walk the dog. Other times the encounter springs from relationships – being introduced to a patch of downland by family, a riverside picnic with friends. Then thereContinue reading “Grovely Wood, Wiltshire.”