Thanks to Neil Lodge of Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust for a great guided tour of the woods.
We had various encounters with place, landscape, plants and animals, and heard about a range of ecological issues and challenges faced by the woods and commons, and some history of this ancient landscape. We discovered that Saint Wulfstan (c. 1008 – 20 January 1095), patron saint of vegetarianism, is commemorated in the nearby Hawkesbury Church, as he was one of its priests before becoming Bishop of Worcester in 1062. Professor Kate Rigby read the poem ‘The Mores’ by John Clare, a critical commentary and lament on the enclosures of the common lands where he lived. It was fascinating to see the wide open spaces of Hawkesbury and Inglestone Commons, remnants of pre-enclosure landscapes.