Somewhat tired tonight when I got back from work, and I'm afraid going to another meeting (ie tonight's Transition group) was not for me. My daughter was up for a walk, so we had a very short amble up to Tablehurst, which re-energised me in lots of ways.
I've been exploring the trees in the village for a while now, and have also created a map showing and linking to all the tree preservation orders for the parish. It is available here
(because the settings on this blog don't let me insert it directly).
Many trees, of course, aren't listed in the TPOs, some because they're too small and young. I noticed the tree opposite Arthur's the other week and I didn't know what it was, but didn't have a camera or my book with me at the time. Its leaves caught my eye:
Leafing through Roger Phillip's Trees in Britain
it looks like a Californian Black Oak (Quercus kelloggii
). He notes that "the acorns were once the staple diet of the Californian Indians". I hope they're more tasty than regular acorns.
After going along the Forest Way we cut down to Tablehurst and across the field. The light was lovely, and so was this ash on the river:
The elders are all in flower at the moment as well, and we started getting excited about making some elderflower cordial and champagne, so had to pick a bit. Some of it was a bit precariously close to the Medway, like here:
But we got enough, about 30 heads, and made some champagne using Roger Phillip's recipe in Wild Food
(it's out of print now, but is much the same as the recipe on the selfsufficientish
site). For the cordial I used the Sophie Grigson recipe
As we then headed up towards the farm, the meadow at Tablehurst was looking rather splendid, covered in buttercups and clover:
Finally, after walking through the farm we passed Tablehurst manor. There's an article about it in the Sussex County Magazine
of 1934 and is reproduced on theweald.org
site. The site includes a large number of useful sources for local history, not only of Forest Row, but of all the surrounding area.
It wasn't a long walk, but we covered a large distance in terms of our aroused curiosity.