Saturday, April 28, 2007

Ryton Wood
Updated Sunday, April 29:
New photograph added at end of post.

Bluebells in Ryton Wood (click photo to enlarge).

Ryton Wood is Warwickshire's largest surviving ancient woodland. Some parts of the woods date back to the eleventh century, and some, it's thought, to the last ice age. The trees are primarily oak, hazel, and small-leaved lime (tilia cordata, or, in American terms, basswood). The woods, crisscrossed with excellent paths, adjoin Ryton Pools County Park, which is built on the site of an old county landfill that operated from the early 1960s to the early 1990s. One interesting feature of the park is a methane factory which taps the methane produced by the buried garbage and converts it to electricity. But at this time of year, the real reason to visit Ryton Wood is to see the bluebells carpeting the woods. Ryton Wood is a ten-minute drive from Kenilworth. Clara and I drove over this morning for a brief walk in the woods. In some places, it was like walking into an Impressionist painting.

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