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Wood You...?

  • Fri 23rd Nov, 2018

As a child I was enthralled by the magical stories of The Enchanted Wood and now, as an adult, I am lucky enough to have an enchanted wood right on my doorstep!

Primrose and Wood Sorrell © Richard BainesPrimrose and Wood Sorrell © Richard Baines

Danes Dyke has become to me as an old friend, one I've seen through its many incarnations; the carpets of bluebells and fresh green buds in the spring, the burst of bird song and flurries of life through summer, the heavy leaden boughs of snow, hushed in the depths of winter and as now, a multi-coloured arena, where the fiery red and orange is falling into hibernation.

Danes Dyke © Susie O'NeillDanes Dyke © Susie O'Neill

Scattered with delving dykes, hardly a trickle flows most of the year, yet I've witnessed torrents, paths turned to lakes, fields an unexpected pond for migrating geese. This year three kestrel chicks fledged in the barn owl box, yet the white ghost still stalked his haunt, sweeping low for those unsuspecting voles in the long grasses. Deer are my daily companion, as oft startling me as I them, but perhaps we grow accustomed to each other, not fleeing, merely eyeing.

Nuthatch © Dan LombardNuthatch © Dan Lombard

The nuthatch and tree-creepers never fail to disturb the steady rhythm of my heart, nor the bolt of the hare, whose long hind legs and ears seem to depart much after the rest of him.

Danes Dyke beach © Susie O'NeillDanes Dyke beach © Susie O'Neill

And below it all, the jewel of the sea, glimpsed through the trees, glistening with its own magical cycle of manifestations. I am enchanted, more so every day, so I would entreat anyone to befriend a wood.

Susie O'Neill

Susie works for the RSPB based at the Bempton Cliffs Reserve. She is also a local author. We are very pleased at YCN to welcome her on to our writing team, look out for more encounters on our news section soon! You can read her YCN profile Click Here.