Continuing the theme of butterflies, last Sunday we headed out to Bentley Wood, in the hope of one again seeing the silver-washed fritillary spectacle. Last year they were just amazing - so many of these huge bright orange butterflies flitting through the rides and glades. This year, the weather wasn't quite as good (gusty and a bit cloudy) but it makes a nice walk anyway, so we thought we'd give it a go.
Bentley Wood is a large area of SSSI woodland - mostly conifer plantation, it has remnant areas of ancient woodland, lines of gnarled oaks, and the network of rides and glades makes it one of the top places in the country for spotting a wealth of butterflies, including purple emperors.
Now, I never usually visit my local haunts with a map, being familiar with the various loops we use. However, on this occasion, we both remarked that we had not been up this path before and set off down it. It did not take us where we thought it was going to go, winding its way through conifer plantation instead of being a straight track. Nonetheless, we found ourselves at another carpark - useful to know to explore this other part of the wood. At this point we felt we had better retrace our steps a bit, then took a path that we hoped would link up with one of the forestry tracks.