The Wildwood is still giving up its secrets, albeit slowly. Exploration started rather late due to a wet spring but continued well into the autumn with each carefully dug and recorded trench revealing a little more of life from prehistory to the medieval period.
In August 2011, an early Bronze Age 4000 years old cist (A small chamber made of thin stone slabs) burial was discovered on Dartmoor. Inside were the cremated remains of a female, and, almost uniquely for this period were well preserved grave goods including 4 lathe turned ear studs (labrets).
The BBC TV news visits Stuart King in the Wildwood to seek out the Romans
What were the Romans doing in the Wildwood?
Most folk would be hard put to recognise a beech flower.
The Speckled Wood butterfly, Written after observing a pair of these woodlandbutterflies flirting in a sunbeam
In one corner of the Wildwood is a pheasant feeder. To monitor the effectiveness I acquired an infrared motion activated camera to observe what really happens both in the daytime and at night, and I have been delighted with the first two 24 hour sequences. Amongst the visitors were badgers, muntjack deer, fox, squirrels, a rabbit, rook and jay… but no pheasants.
The Wildwood is a nature photographer’s paradise and I never visit without my camera.
PS: The register of professional turners has a new website, http://registerofprofessionalturners.co.uk
May, The long awaited spring warmth has been very slow to materialise but the Wildwood is now populated with a variety of specialist Chiltern woodland plants and flowers, some areas are completely transformed.