Guardian Country Diary – Extra

Why Waresley?

Tree canopy Waresley WoodMy latest Country Diary is from the ancient woodland of Waresley, a Wildlife Trust reserve 10 miles SW of Cambridge. If you read my diaries, the name may be familiar, because I’ve written a few features about this wood.

What is it about Waresley Wood?

Old coppice stool at Waresley WoodTo me it’s a special place, always has been. I’ve known it for almost 30 years and I’ve always enjoyed the bluebells and oxlips, badgers, ash trees and oaks and its history. It’s an even more special place now as it’s at the heart of a new book I’m writing about ancient woodland.

Waresley autumn track

Did you know that, in the immediate post-war period, we managed to destroy just under half of Britain’s ancient woodland? Much of it had been there since before the Domesday Book was written. Does that shock you? It did me. I wanted to know how and why it happened. The book will tell the stories of the people involved, then and now, in deciding the fate of this precious habitat.

Waresley bluebell headwild rose at Waresley


If you’re interested you can read more about my forthcoming book, but either way, I hope you’ll enjoy some more of Sarah’s pictures of Waresley Wood.


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