'seeing the path through the woods makes me think of Frith Wood where we walked several years ago, and I imagine it looks very similar to your photos now'.
Last Sunday it was H's birthday so before having a special family lunch we headed out early to walk the pathway that Lorrie too must have trod during her visit.
Frith Wood is an ancient woodland that spans the ridge between Painswick, known as 'Queen of the Cotswolds', and Laurie Lee's Slad Valley. Until 1801 this ridgeway path through the wood was the main route from Cheltenham heading south. It was an old drovers road where livestock such as cattle, sheep and even geese were driven along to market.
The soaring 70ft beech trees were brought over as seed from Belgian at the same time as the Napoleonic Wars drew to a close. These central European trees grow tall and straight in comparison to our more gnarled native beeches.
They would have been a familiar sight to writer, Laurie Lee, who wandered this self-same pathway as man and boy."If ever I saw blessing in the air
I see it now in this still early day
Where lemon-green the vaporous morning drips
Wet sunlight on the powder of my eye"
Spring catkins and buds are showing already,
but the fluffy remains of Rosebay Willowherb linger,
a forest floor sparkling with tiny jewels,
In his book, Cider with Rosie, Laurie Lee immortalised these beech woods, deep valleys, flower strewn summer meadows, and the village characters who dwelt in Slad - now they are forever a part of our English literary landscape.