Monday, January 24, 2011

Poems are made by fools like me, But only God can make a tree...

 Well that's how  Alfred Joyce Kilmer   saw it in 1913. Being of less religious persuasion than the American Poet I  would probably take a more 'Down to earth' approach but I understand the sentiment.

And so today's blog is actually quite topical with all the talk in the media about the government selling off our woodlands because it's all about trees.

Sprivers close to Horsmonden in the heart of the High Weald of Kent is somewhere that I've driven by hundreds of times and probably said almost as many "We really should check-out the walks in there" Today it finally happened.

Owned by The National Trust, the Sprivers family lived here from 1447 to 1704, when it was purchased by the Courthope family. It was willed to The National Trust in the 1960s by the Courthope family.

The WW2 ammunitions dump
 During WW2 the house was used as a military command centre and  Sprivers Wood was used as an ammunitions dump. You can still see 
evidence of the trenches, (pictured here) thought to have been built by the British Army in the run up to the D-Day landings of 1944
Oak from Sprivers was used to help build the Houses of Parliament in 1840 and again 100 years later following bomb damage.

Sprivers looks like another top destination for my walks around the local area and I can't wait to re-visit come the change of seasons, I think it'll be an exciting place to wander around with all that spring and summer offer. Today it was cold and wintery but even so there was lots to see and what amazed me over and above everything else were the trees. I had no idea that the grounds contained so many beautiful old trees. Surely these must rate amongst the oldest and largest in Kent? The largest are Oak & Beech with some I would guess topping out at around 20 metres.

The bark of these large trees is just fantastic in it's variation, colour, movement and texture.

It's impossible to stand in front of these ancient forms without feeling a little humbled and wondering just how much they have witnessed over the ages.
Such a powerful presence and yet at the whim of mankind as to whether they live or die.
Don't underestimate just how important trees are to us all, we need trees for so many reasons.

The walk around Sprivers takes you through areas of ancient woodland, coppiced areas (can't wait to visit these in summer, they are bound to be home to numerous butterflies) open fields,there are ponds (great for dragonflies and damselflies a little later on) and a view of the house and gardens. 

Magical movement.

One of the smaller ancient oaks beside the entrance road

The coppiced area (Bug hunting in waiting)

A less than natural bark.

And so that's Sprivers. Pleasant enough on a cold winter day with the promise of much more in the near future. One to add to my list of local haunts for sure. There's little doubt that I'll be back to spend many more happy hours here very soon.

1 comment:

  1. This is a really lovely interesting place to visit and would love to look around again...


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