Along a footpath from an unassuming road in Little Kingshill is a secret treasure trove for tree-lovers. The origins of Priestfield Arboretum lie back in the early 20th century with Thomas Priest, a local solicitor who planted up to 400 … Continue reading The secret arboretum
If it weren’t for the risk of being bumped into, or run over, it would be tempting to wander round Hitchin with one eye shut. The town isn’t ugly – quite the reverse, with over 200 buildings being Grade I, … Continue reading A sight for sore eyes, or an eyesore?
“I don’t like red kites,” says one Chilterns resident of our acquaintance. “Too many of them, and they make that horrible whistling sound.” It’s a point of view. There may now be over 1,000 breeding pairs of red kites in … Continue reading High as a (red) kite
Around the corner from the hubbub and excitement of Whipsnade Zoo lies a remarkable landmark, Whipsnade Tree Cathedral. The site was the original inspiration of Edmund K Blyth, who served in the British infantry in World War I and lost … Continue reading Faith, hope and reconciliation
Inspired by last weekend’s visit to Ewelme Watercress Beds, today we decided to pay a visit to a fully operational watercress bed. E Tyler & Sons have been farming watercress at Sarratt in Hertfordshire since 1886. Today theirs is the … Continue reading Watercress Walk
It looks like a timeless scene, basking in the August sunshine. In reality the Ewelme Watercress Beds ran as a going business concern for only just over a century. George Smith, a publican from South Weston, a small hamlet just … Continue reading Conserving a 20th century industry hub
It looks like a simple memorial stone, until you delve into the story of Stanley Spencer’s life, in which nothing was simple. His was not an especially long life, though the times changed considerably; he was born into a late … Continue reading Stanley, I presume?
You might be surprised to know that a corner of the Chilterns has survived in its traditional form – more or less – due to the Corporation of London. Burnham Beeches was once common land, used for grazing a variety … Continue reading Once more unto the Beech(es)…
The beech woods may have been carpeted with bluebells, but we were in search of more elusive blooms. As our group assembled in Hughenden Church car park, local nature expert Tony Marshall explained that we would be seeing Coralroot (cardamine … Continue reading Not just bluebells