Two excellent volunteer Woodland Trust guides, Justine and John, took twenty five of us round this four year old site, now sporting more that 300,000 saplings on former farmland. It is very impressive once you have your eye in for spotting all the young trees in the meadows. Three of the four areas of ancient woodland within the site were on our route, still carpeted with bluebells, if past their best. Heartwood is named after the heart-shaped lime leaves that belong to a centuries-old local hybrid species found in Pudler’s Wood.
For an early May Saturday afternoon, the temperatures were more like winter than spring, but guide John showed us how to create a fire using dried fungi, called “King Alfred’s Cakes”, to make us feel warmer! The visit was a good chance for local residents to informally meet each other as well as to have a very interesting afternoon. For more information on Heartwood go to www.woodlandtrust.org.uk/heartwood