Wandering vanishing Wendover Woods

Tracks on path in Wendover Woods. May 2021, photo by Jessica Zarins

I find myself in Wendover again. For the past five years I’ve been coming a few times a year to look after a sensitive cat when his human goes away. The village, the house, and of course the cat are all close to my heart, and it means a lot to me to be here.

But the woods are equally as magical. I’ve written about them on them on this blog before. A wilderness of wildlife, a remnant of the last ice age, so close to civilisation and cities. It magical.

I used to get lost in the woods. Not so much anymore; I know them better and they are getting smaller.

Car parks, children’s play areas and adventure trails, accessible paths and a modern cafe have all made the woods even more popular with visitors, but much less foresty.

During this morning’s walk this was even more evident than before. It looked like a pandemic of diggers, lorries and tractors had made their way through the forest, leaving wheel tracks and diesel in the puddles.

Destruction in Wendover Woods. May 2021, photo by Jessica Zarins
Wheel tracks through the trees. May 2021, photo by Jessica Zarins
Oil-stained foot prints. May 2021, photo by Jessica Zarins

Habitats lost in the name of progress. Shortsighted shortcomings in the name of profit. The woods still offer sanctuary and space for transcendence, but now with a side of unasked for sadness and anger and hopelessness over what people are doing to nature.

Remnants of a tree trunk. May 2021, photo by Jessica Zarins

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