Anses Wood: stately oaks and perilous beeches

In which I daydream of Anses Wood

Anses is old and gobliny, and beautiful, too.

Joan Begbie, Walking in the New Forest, published 1934

Anses was one of the first woods I explored in the New Forest, and is still the wood I love the best. Joan Begbie says of it:

The oaks are all fine old trees, their bark gracefully diapered, their shape true to the best oak tradition; of the beeches this cannot always be said. Some heel over at perilous angles, others split into branches almost as soon as they stop being roots, and others, fallen, prop themselves on some great limb and continue to bear leaf and mast as if nothing had happened.

Joan Begbie, Walking in the New Forest

Anses is not so very different today, and I have been too long away. Until I can return to its shadows and woodland rides, I have been making do with some photographs: here are a few.

Anses Wood can be found near Fritham; park at Cadman’s Pool, and get lost in its mysteries.

6 thoughts on “Anses Wood: stately oaks and perilous beeches

  1. Roger Quin

    Thank you for more beautiful photographs and thoughts in this and your previous post. I hope you won’t mind me posting a poem by Joan’s sister, Eleanor, it seems appropriate for this time of year.
    Now autumn lights the earth to bed/ WIth leafy candles gold and red,/ Illuming all the silent glade/ With flames that seem too bright to fade./ Earth folds away her broidered gown/ And lays her withered garlands down,/ Unclasps her trinkets with a sigh…/ “Alackaday!” The time draws nigh/ When wrinkled winter will be here,/ The grey grandmother of the year./ Dame winter has a homely face;/ She wears a mutch of frosty lace,/ And icicles befringe her shawl…/ With wise old fingers over all/ She spreads a snowy counter-pane…/ “Now sleep till spring shall come again”/ Says she, and draws across the sky/ Her cloudy curtains carefully,/ Blows out the candles, one by one,/ Till every golden leaf is gone.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for sharing that poem, Roger: it’s so beautiful. I hadn’t appreciated your mother was a poet, too. I really love the vision of winter as a homely old woman wrapping the year safely to bed and the imagery of the golden autumn leaves as candles. Perfect and heartwarming for the season. You are a talented and creative family. Thank you!


  2. ‘Anses is old and gobliny’ – oh, this sounds so inviting! Who could possibly resist an old and gobliny wood? Where else would you want to go. Lovely pictures. I’m particularly intrigued by the fungi. Thanks for sharing.

    Liked by 1 person

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