Swannymote and Blackbrook reservoir

As the Peak District falls so the hills rise again in North West Leicestershire. Seven hundred million year old rock at degree protrudes from the ground reaching out to the sky here . Swannymote is located next to the village of Whitwick and also located on a huge tectonic lay line running North West to South East from Breedon hill to the Alter Stones in Markfield. Here as a child I found sanctuary as a child from a troubled home / school life, affinity with nature developed amongst these auspicious rocks, trees and the abundance of wild life this place lovingly nurtures. This was also a place where wise men of Leicestershire would meet, called Swains or Swans hence the name Swannymote.

Many local people come to Blackbrook Reservoir and enjoy this open space, water here is used as a drinking supply for the surround towns and villages. As children we would come here, throw ourselves off the bridge and swim, completely ignoring the ‘No swim’ signs. The area is rich in fauna; in Leicestershire were there is water I found a lot of game being bred. Along the blind corner lanes it’s been known that locals here will fight over who takes the road kill (deer,pheasant etc) home to eat!

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My friend Karen who accompanying drove the journey between Wiltshire, Wales and the Peak District

There wasn’t any time to photograph more of these places as our stay was limited to five hours in Leicestershire.

Savernack Forest

I visited the Savernack many times over the years, seven miles of Forest is quite an expanse of ancient trees in these times we live here in England. My druid friend once boasted he’d camped in an obscure part of this forest for an entire week without being noticed; In a Swindon cafe we sat I sitting sipping sweet hot tea, he a cup of hot water; I could feel the spirit of the forest emanating from his attained peaceful presence.

There is a gigantic burl in the centre of this forest, it’s absolutely huge and could well be the biggest in the UK and yet remains unlisted amongst the other trees in the Savernack Forest map / guide.

Few days ago I camped out with a friend inside the Savernack Forest; we burned a fire of Hawthorn which is my Ogham tree (13 of May) making heart warm brew of chai which we shared with a friend who lives close by.

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I heard Lord Marlborough (who owned this estate) had lost all of his money and was now making a living driving a lorry and resided in a council house… twist of fate can be so cruel, barbaric.

If this story is true I hope one day if he so wishes that he reclaim his estate; it’s truly beautiful.

(regardless of what he may or may not think of me, the place Marlborough generally doesn’t like me; might be because some idiot tried to twin it with the Gambia)

Hagbourne Copse

In 1997 I lived in protest occupation of this woodland for almost three months to secure it’s sale to those who were wishing to preserve it. Wiltshire Wildlife trust won the bid and in purchasing have turned this verdant woodland into a beautiful nature reserve / sanctuary that it is today.  The sea of bluebells is breath taking and magical in awe, moves me to know that future generations both old and young will arrive to enjoy this most magical place for years yet to come.