What a gorgeous week it's been weather-wise. I was lucky enough to get out on Wednesday for a trip to the New Forest for work. All of the colours of the heather and the gorse together with the stunning azure sky made a feast for the eyes!
These were small banked enclosures - to protect against the free-ranging livestock - within which hives were set up. They're a relatively common sight across the Forest, if you know where to look. They are hundreds of years old - quite amazing to have survived and a testament to our sweet tooth!
Now is the time for the start of the blackberry harvest, and last Sunday we popped out to Blashford Lakes Nature Reserve near Ringwood to see how our favourite bramble patch was doing. We collected lots, with the peak season still not upon us. Lots to clean and put in the freezer! On the way back, I had a quick look at Dockens water, the small New Forest stream that had been restored a decade earlier from it's previously-straightened self. Now, tea-coloured waters flow over the clean gravels, creating pools and riffles, and many niches for a variety of wildlife.