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.
I recently visited the new Mary Rose museum at Portsmouth. What a fantastic job they have done. I was so taken by the sailor’s boxwood hair combs that it was straight to the workshop to make a couple of examples.
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.
This Chilterns Wildwood holds many secrets of our ancient ancestors, watch this space
It is time to thin the trees, to bring down some of the giant oaks, beech and more recent ash to allow those that are left more elbow room.
Within the Wildwood is a small rhomboid shaped bank and ditch, in fact this was the first archaeological feature to be recognised way back in 1982 and reported by two local school boys.
A feature of many of the Chiltern ancient woodlands are the mysterious dells. These dells, often referred to as chalk pits vary in size but many are huge excavations, but what was the purpose of them?
The winter of 2012/13 has been wet, cold and snowy, and the Wildwood is sleeping, but not for too much longer. The roar of chain saws will soon be heard and the workman like growl of diesel engined timber extraction vehicles will soon echo through the woodland.
Is TV showing more interest in traditional crafts?, Stuart King is doing his bit
The old drovers road, still part of the working countryside.
Wassailing is 1000 year old English tradition. Stuart King outlines the simple chronology and and some details of the wassail bowl.
Wizardry in Wood is the worlds premiere show case for the craft, historical and contempory, held every four years in the City of London.
Little Missenden is a typical ‘Mid Sommer Murders’ village’. Sneek in and take a look at the phantom hedgecutter!