On a bright November day, my daughter and I took a walk in the woods by my studio and talked about how it's not surprising that there are so many old fairytales based in woodlands. They are truly magical places - full of dappled light, strange fungi, secretive animals and to top it all, at this time of year they are also full of beautiful smells and colours.
One way to get even more out of a walk in the woods is to take five minutes to stop and listen in silence to the noises - we discovered the amazing sound of leaves falling whilst on our walk. From our own experiences what you also need to really enjoy the woods is a guide to some of the leaves, insects or fungus you might encounter. It should preferably be waterproof, simple and very easy to use like the one in the picture which is made by the Woodland Trust. By taking a guide out with you it turns a plain old walk into any number of different things - a fungal foray, a leaf identifying adventure, a beetle hunt. It's also a really good idea to pack a magnifying glass which will open up a whole new world to the inquisitive eye.
There is nothing quite like a walk in the woods at this time of year and it really connects us to the changing season and the onset of winter. And oddly, instead of making this shift to the darker, colder months more ominous as a result, it really helps our family look forward to it.
To read Shelley Castle's November Blog 'A Woodland Walk' CLICK HERE
The Flete Estate Office,
Haye Farm, Holbeton,
Telephone: 01752 830234