Every morning I wake up, look out of my window and up the hill towards Chase Woods. This small hill enables Ross on Wye to snuggle gently in to its side and it offers us its protection, an ever changing vista and great walks right from my front door...
Every day is different and to see the changing seasons reflected in the trees is enchanting. Yet we have never really explored the woods. We have ventured in and followed the well trodden paths but we haven't taken the time to really discover this small outcrop. Until now.
I would like to say that I decided one day to take it upon myself to start to explore the hill more but it was actually my close friend who has introduced me to the magic of this place, along with her Jack Russell Terrier.
She invited me to go for a dog walk one Friday and I gladly accepted, any chance to a)walk and b)natter. Both are of course scientifically proven to aid in the relief of stress and anxiety. She then led me on a one hour walk around the woods taking in some stunning views through the valleys that surround it and amongst the woodland with its range of native trees and managed woodland.
We were though far too busy talking to take any photographs that day, however on the following Sunday I decided to take my family up on the same walk. The weather had closed in and the woods were shrouded in mist and there was not a breath of wind. The atmosphere up there was quite amazing, the stillness and mist making the walk quite ethereal, even the kids were taken in my the magic of it all.
It doesn't matter whether you live in the inner city or out in the middle of nowhere, take some time this weekend to re-discover your own neighbourhood. We all pine for bigger hills, higher mountains, faster rivers but actually, when you stop and take the time you may just realise that what you have right outside your front door is pretty amazing. Just open your eyes and look.