The third wood of the day. I struggled to find somewhere to park on the side of Rocks road and started in the wrong wood (Westpark Local Community Nature Reserve) albeit with some very old trees on the edge of a housing estate on the edge of Uckfield.
Is this the green belt? Protect patches of woodland, however small, on the edge of town? It is squeezed in between a dual-carriageway and a housing estate,trodden on, frequented by dogs, where litter is dropped and domestic cats roam. I wonder if such patches of woods are nothing else but sad remnants, moth-eaten like a tattered regimental flag – reflecting days of glory long gone.
I doubled back to a narrow layby by a stone wall to try my luck again. I am finding that regardless I am generally better off on foot once I am in proximity.
Access is limited; the land is walled off and fenced in. There is a single entrance from this side of the wood. We take a path and head for water. I notice the bird boxes – someone cares.
I sense that this is a large landscaped garden from a stately home (Buckswood Grange) rather than a natural park – the estate dissected by the Uckfield bypass, the manor house long gone or turned into a care home, apartments or demolished.
I find the lake, then follow the track around its perimeter finding Ruskin-like stone cliffs, tunnels and scrambles. There is a huge Wellingtonia and a beech.
All is sadly diminished by the noise of the A26 and litter. Not much, but having picked up a few items I realise I don’t have gloves and a bag or the energy to do any more.
I’ll be back – wearing headphones. For local residents this is a pleasure garden – just sad we can’t dampen the noise of traffic, trucks and motorbikes on the dual-carriageway. Noise pollution is tolerated where air pollution is not.