Tag Archives | walking

Mothers day – family friendly guided woodland walk

Mothers Day - Family friendly woodland walk

Mothers Day – Family friendly woodland walk

A few of the regular attending families had asked if they could bring their mothers along for the walk – what a lovely idea and it meant we had three generations enjoying a walk together! There is something quite special about taking families out for a walk in the woods. With our own children now young men, it’s lovely to see other peoples children enjoy the simple things in life and be inquisitive about nature.

Whilst not yet Spring, it felt like the end of Winter was behind us and Spring was definitely around the corner. We had another lovely Sunday morning walking through the woods, the weather was kind to us again, with a chill in the air and a little sunshine to remind us of the changing seasons.

As well as looking at creepy crawlies, shapes of leaves, sticks and stones, here are some of the many things we looked at in detail as we wondered through the woods.

Beech-buds - long and pointy like arrow tips

Beech-buds – long and pointy like arrow tips

Stinging nettles - hollow needles of silica

Stinging nettles – hollow needles of silica

We looked at the buds of the huge beech trees –  their pointy buds, sharp to the touch, long and narrow rather like an arrow tip. We carefully looked at the stinging nettles, getting up close to see the ‘hundreds’ of silica needles just waiting to sting the unwary. Stinging nettles are fabulous plants, packed full of goodness, great for teas, soups and you can make string from the stalk fibres later in the year too.

Silver birch, horizontal lines & flaky bark

Silver birch, horizontal lines & flaky bark

Pussy willow - fluffy buds

Pussy willow – fluffy buds

There were some lovely silver birch, we looked closely at the bark, it’s silvery whiteness, the horizontal lines (lenticel) that allow the tree to breath, and the flaky bark that can be used to light campfires. The pussy or goat willow was already blossoming, the bud bursting open, soon they will be fluffy like a cats tail.

It was yet another lovely walk, a beautiful morning, nature awakening for Spring and wonderful families, all young at heart.

If you’d like to join the next walk, just register your family via this page: Family Friendly Guided Woodland Walk they are free to attend – if you have any questions do get in touch.

Inaugural netwalking event in the Chilterns

What a great way to start the day with the inaugural netwalking event taking place at Hodgemoor Woods on the outskirts of Chalfont St Giles. We met in the woodland car park at 8:30 and after brief introductions set off on a guided woodland walk. The idea is simple, enjoy some fresh air, connect with nature, chat with like minded people and depart at the end refreshed ready for the business day ahead!

As we walked around the woods, we stopped to look at a few trees on route. Some may be able to recognise oak trees by their distinctive ‘knobbly’ leaves, but they are not quite so sure in the winter months. Most are less familiar with it’s form, and the texture of it’s bark, the shape and colour of it’s buds.

Oak trees, certainly those that are mature tend to spread their branches out, like an architectural structure, they reach out to command the canopy and capture as much sunlight as possible. The oak bark, once recognised is really distinctive, with its rough rocky surface. The red / brown buds, as you can see in the picture below, are rounded, formed into to clusters at the end of the twigs and then alternate on either side as they progress down each side of the twig.

Mature oak tree bark

Mature oak tree bark

Oak tree buds - winter tree identification

Oak tree buds – winter tree identification

We stopped to recognise the hornbeam, another hard wood, it forms the boundary of the adjoining Hales Wood enclosure. Others we looked closely at included the beech, comparing and contrasting it with the hornbeam. It’s not that obvious at first what the differences are, but on closer inspection, the buds are shorter and less pointed, the ‘growth’ lines on the beech trunk are horizontal, whereas they are vertical on the hornbeam. Looking at a few of the dead leaves, the differences were shown; smooth edges on the beech leaves and small teeth around those of the hornbeam.

After looking at few more trees, enjoying a chat with our fellow netwalkers, we arrived back at the woodland car park for tea and coffee served from the back of the Land Rover.

Thank you to the business folks who joined me for this inaugural netwalking event in the Chilterns. It was lovely to see the enthusiasm for future walks, along with a request for similarly lovely weather  – I’ll do my best!

For details and to book your place on the next Netwalking with David Willis event please view the events calendar – thank you!

The inaugural netwalking event - February 2016

Thank you to the business people who joined the inaugural Netwalking with David Willis event – February 2016

Netwalking with David Willis

By joining Netwalking with David Willis, you will get plenty of fresh air, a little exercise, reawaken your senses and become more connected with nature, and be able to chat with like minded people, whilst walking in some beautiful woodlands.

Hodgemoor Woods – Netwalking, fresh air, fresh thinking

David Willis provides family friendly guided woodland walks, teaching young and old about the woodlands; the flora and fauna, with opportunities to re-engage their senses and become more at one with nature. It was during one of these walks, with all that fresh air and time for fresh thinking, that a conversation triggered the idea of a similar walk for business people, and here it is!

Our best ideas come when walking. Aristotle apparently lectured whilst walking, was this to his benefit or those of his students (possibly both), Steve Jobs preferred way to have a serious conversation was a long walk.

Just walking may be enough, but to really benefit, I find that being grounded within nature makes a huge difference.

Netwalking with David Willis will be a monthly event, held in a woodland near Chalfont St Giles, with tea and coffee available at the end of the walk!

Find out more and book your place on the next Netwalking event