I’ve always felt that being amongst deciduous trees is the calmest, most restorative place to be. Where I grew up there was a little wood in a steep gully between two fields, and I have fond memories of walks there with my mum when I was small, and going there for solace when I was older. The primroses, violets and orchids of those steep slopes are still some of my favourite flowers, and I’ll never forget the towering, beautiful beech which was my late mother’s favourite tree in all of existence. I know precisely why I chose to study botany at university, and remember clearly making the decision whilst picturing those childhood walks with my mum.
In these unusual times we can find comfort in the places that make us feel safe, calm, and connect us to our former selves. For me, native woodland is the place to be. I’m grateful to live close enough to some of the best ancient woodland in the country, and that it is managed and cared for by such a dedicated organisation and army of volunteers as we have at Warwickshire Wildlife Trust. I feel privileged to be able to explore these woods with my own children, and as a family we enjoy a trip to the woods on a sunny day as much as almost any other day out, especially if snacks are involved.