I made the decision to travel 100 miles this year, after the Angmering Park Estate ruined their bluebell wood by dumping tonnes of waste wood instead of turning it into wood chips. Brushwood is often left to rot in situ following logging work, but it looks awful and the practice is usually related to saving money on shredding. If the estate had spent a little more money, beauty and biodiversity would be the clear winners. Unfortunately, forestry is a business and the graph on the wall tells the story of it all. Bluebells woods don't make money. A decade-long wait is on the cards before the wood rots down.

Dockey Wood, in Buckinghamshire is a popular location for visitors and photographers. Situated in a wealthy area, full of golf courses, mansions and Conservative Party banners, the woodland is a 90 minute walk from Tring railway station. If you have aspirations about buying a property here, keep in mind that tree houses and manholes are not included in any bank's lending criteria. The woodland is encompassed within the Ashridge Estate, which is owned by the National Trust. Dockey itself is a plantation of uniformly spaced beech and oak trees. After photographing the bluebells, I set off to find a pub in Little Gaddesden. Along the way, a group of about 50 Fallow deer had crossed the road to graze in a field. Fallow deer normally bolt on sight when I'm in Sussex; I shone my torch and 50 stationary pairs of eyes stared back. I had let myself in for an uncomfortable night in Dockey Wood. Without a tent (there's a ten year waiting list for Help-to-Buy manholes) and only (a now binned) sleeping bag, I endured a cold, damp and sleepless night, pacing about to keep myself warm in temperatures of 3°C

I'm happy with my experience of Dockey Wood, but never again! Getting there from Brighton is too much hassle, in terms of cost, time, long walks along busy roads and delays from broken down trains at Clapham Junction. I will visit Micheldever Wood in Hampshire next year (minus the overnight stay), but in the meantime, I hope you enjoy the three best photos from my adventures!

Bluebells in Evening, Dockey Wood

Dockey Wood Bluebells at Dawn

Evening Bluebells at Dockey Wood


Martin Lower said…
Lovely, Alan. There's nothing like a few bluebells this time of year.
Alan MacKenzie said…
Thank you, Martin. I missed most of it, unfortunately, due to other commitments. I'll ensure I don't miss out on the summer, now that things are settling down nicely.

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