Tuesday, 27 January 2015

A quiet corner

Isn't it funny how it is often places right on our doorstep that we seem to never get around to visiting. Allow me to introduce you to one such quiet corner I discovered this week; Carron Lane green, cemetery and allotments. 
I first found the area when taking my partner and his dog for a relaxed morning walk on Midhurst Common on Sunday, and couldn't resist popping back on my own for a proper exploration. 

Tucked away at the end of a quiet road, is a clearing at the edge of the common. Wooded heath hustles the open land, crowding around the perimeter of the field but not daring to venture onto the green, as if afraid of the play equipment that quietly await the end of the school day. 
The history of this green is lost, hinted at by boundary banks, camouflaged ribs of fencing, a forgotten roller that is being gradually claimed by the wood in a silent small victory. 

 From the middle of the green you'd struggle to know the cemetery is there at all, but take a peek behind the thick laurel hedging. A suitable peace fills the atmosphere, but it is far from quiet. Flocks of tits and finches call from insulating conifer trees, squirrels carpet the ground beneath a sweeping cedar tree with cone-scales, and from all around comes the tap-tap-tap of carpenters at work. Occasionally one will break the rhythm of his sculpting with a burst of territorial drumming, for these are not human chiselers but great spotted woodpeckers. Weaving between the gravestones, new and ivy-covered alike, over ground that grows mosses, and the remnants of heathers and billberry, the path leads to a discreet iron gate in the hedge. 

One last interruption into the heathland is a hollow, lined with allotments. Bereft of human activity this weekday morning, the plots were instead occupied by avian gardeners. Blackbirds flick fallen leaves, searching for slugs and worms, whilst great and blue tits climb the pea sticks and fruit cages, picking off spiders and sheltering bugs. A shy jay loops between the tree trunks, betrayed by the flash of his white rump.  Silver lichen collects raindrops, nestled between fallen leaves. 

Beyond the allotments the wooded heath eagerly stakes it's claim on the land. Silver birch and stunted oaks jostle with holly, dominated by scot's pine and invasive thuggish sprawls of rhododendron. Where there are breaks in the canopy, the sun-dappled ground is peppered with stumps of felled pines, patches of heather and billberry, and black peat-tinted pools. 

Paths, varyingly trodden, wind across the common, heading this way and that, crossing and forking, on their never ceasing journeys of various purpose. One or two lead back to the allotments, the cemetery, the green, and Carron Lane.

1 comment:

  1. I love forgotten landscapes like this. On the one hand it is perhaps sad that the living relatives, if any, are no longer tending the graves but on the other hand, the area provides somewhere for humans and nature to co-exist peacefully.

    I would rather be remembered by future generations in the corner of an overgrown wilderness than under the foundations of the A3.


About Me

My photo
Hello! Thank you for viewing my blogs and profile. I am passionate about the countryside and british wildlife and I hope that this comes through in my blog. I am a nature writer and have been pursuing photography since early teenage years, whilst building a career in conservation. Helping people to reconnect with the natural world is very important to me, whether through direct hands on interaction, education or literature. Please also visit my website www.sophieco.co.uk, for more information, my current CV, and further examples of writing and photography. You can contact me or keep up to date with new blog posts via Twitter @SophiEcoWild and/or Facebook.com/SophiEcoWild Feedback, comments and audience participation are always welcome! Sophie May Lewis