As the Scottish Bard put it: The best laid schemes o’ Mice an’ Men Gang aft agley. We set out for Oare so that we could look for a Little Owl while indulging in out permitted lockdown exercise. Arriving at the disabled carpark we found the road closed and a police can in the mini-carpark. There has been an accident, we were told, the road would be closed for a while. We decided to spend an hour or two looking around the area in general and woodland in particular for day two of the National Tree Week. Our wanderings took us down a skinny lane lined with woodland, looking stunning where the dark green understory of holly contrasts with the Autumn colour of the deciduous trees.
Old chestnut coppice is probably a decade passed its coppicing schedule. Some ‘stools’ support a dozen unharvested ‘rods’. The steep banks of the road are clad in the overgrown trees, some barely clinging to the sides; their roots buttresses exposed and the soil eroded.
Further on younger coppice was planted densely with only the roadside edge planted with oak and birch. An occasional holly is the only punctuation…
…and the leaf-litter all sweet chestnut.