Ecology In Progress

We began this largely overcast day with a trip to Efford Recycling Centre transporting another carload of green garden refuse which will no doubt play its part in the progress of ecology once it has been processed.

This afternoon, after a brief Tesco shop Jackie drove me into the forest. As often on such a gloomy day we drove around for some time without tempting my trigger finger, before encountering

an approaching horse and cart, the driver of which, having spotted my lens through our windscreen, smiled and waved between the last two images in this gallery – unfortunately I missed that shot.

We have learned that there are thousands more giant redwood trees in UK than in California; a number planted more than a century ago in

the Rhinefield Ornamental drive in our New Forest.

To the left of the second picture above lies the trunk of a tree we first noticed a few years back when it first fell. Now we can watch its contribution to the forest regeneration.

I watched a gentleman photographing two children against a recently fallen giant, and later, from a greater distance through trees, spotted one climbing the corpse.

The broken tree in the second and third images in this gallery will join the first example above, making its own contribution. I am not sure at this stage of the difference between the sequoias and the Douglas firs, both of which feature in this drive, but that trunk in the last picture certainly contains red wood.

The sequoia towering above the sun-kissed trees in this picture was planted in the garden of Castle Malwood Lodge, where we lived for our first 18 months in the forest, by Prime Minister William Ewart Gladstone during one of his visits in the 1880s..

This evening we all dined on Jackie’s stupendous chicken and vegetable stewp and fresh, crusty, bread with which I finished the Shiraj.


  1. Such beautiful trees! I had no idea that the giant redwoods are also living in the UK, that’s wonderful! See, we are the same people too. ????❤️????????????????

  2. Echoing everyone else, I had no idea about the redwoods in the UK. Such wonderful photos in this post, Derrick. The driver with his horse and cart could come from a different era, the tree gallery is wonderful, and I love the colors in the final photo.

  3. A wonderful crop of forest images, and I especially like the horse and cart photos Derrick … (Perceptions)
    “Horse Before the Cart”

    Bitumen road
    Horse and cart
    Centuries apart

    Unopened loads
    Dreams of tomorrow
    Library books unborrowed

    Ancient ode
    Horse before the cart
    Centuries before the Ark

  4. An informative and beautifully earthy post! Life continues in one form or another. I see a face in the moss close up. 🙂

  5. I was interested to learn via the BBC of the large number of Giant Redwoods in the UK. I enjoy these photographs of natural decaying trees – the way nature intended.

  6. Beautiful photos! The redwoods are so amazing and beautiful!
    What a friendly horse and cart driver!
    We used to live by Muir Woods/near San Francisco. (Muir Woods is 558 acres of ancient giant redwoods…some over 1,000 years old.)
    (((HUGS))) ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

  7. I love the scenes from these forest drives! The horse and cart is a fine photo. I wonder what breed that horse is? Note the shaggy fetlocks. Some sort of draft or utility breed?

    1. I thought that about the horse, too – but not as big as usual. Thanks very much, Lavinia

  8. It’s amazing that there are more of these California coastal giants in the UK than in their native habitat. A stew, bread, and Shiraz sounds like a pleasant dinner.

  9. How encouraging to know redwoods grow in England, too! A few centuries from now, you will fully enjoy their magnificence, standing in awe at their bases! It looks like yours have made excellent progress toward their prime. I have family living in the California redwood zone and I will always remember the awe I felt standing among these magnificent trees!

      1. I come from the state where Arbor Day began in the USA. As a Nebraskan, trees are almost a cause, entities that you need a word from Ye Gods before you chop down or alter! to plant a tree is to give a gift to future generations. To plant a California redwood is the hugest gift of all! Well, I believe a bristlecone pine lives longer, but it has more rigorous habitat requirements.

  10. From 1863 to 1874 28 of these Sierra Redwoods were planted in an avenue a mile long in the Ballarat Gardens. They have struggled with drought. The cathedral feel that these trees achieve on a foggy, misty morning is awesome.

Leave a Reply