Walking around this park you see glimpses of what the area must have been like before the 20th Century houses were built...
Until recently this area has been relatively inaccessible because it is quite boggy, but there are now some proper made-up paths which make it much easier to get around. The paths seem to be made from "chips" of recycled vehicle tyres!
In places, the ground is still very boggy. This area looks almost like a padi-field with the bright green grass coming up through the soggy ground:
Some areas have been cleared to let more light in...
But it's nice to see that most of the mature trees have been retained. I particularly noticed how many of the big trees had been equipped with nesting-boxes for birds (or perhaps bats?)
Although this park only extends to a few acres, I was amazed by how diverse its flora is. As well as large Pines and the ubiquitous Birch, almost all the traditional old English trees are represented - Oak, Ash, Beech, Chestnut, Hazel...
|Mountain Ash or Rowan|
|Beech in amongst Birch|
Because the park is surrounded by residential areas, there are lots of "feral" plants, many of them edible...
Of course there are lots of lots of wild edible plants too...
|Garlic mustard or "Jack in the Hedge"|
|Brambles / Blackberries|
There are lots of flowers too...
|Gorse / Furze|
Finally, a couple of photos that don't fit neatly into any category...
|Oak galls, aka Oak Apples|
This modestly-sized area of woodland is a fine example of what we call a "Green Lung" in our very built-up neighbourhood. Much of its maintenance is done by a group of volunteers, to whom all credit is due. Who knows, now that I am retired, I might join them...
Hart District - in which the biggest settlement is Fleet - has several times been voted in a national survey the best place in the UK to live, and this is partly due to the existence of parks and open spaces like the one I have described here. Our area is under enormous pressure from Central Government to build more residential housing. I just hope this will never be done at the expense of precious resources like Basingbourne Park.