I took a lunchtime meander today and it took me into Speckled Wood. It’s one of those bits of green space that is filled with fragile beauty. Doubly fragile in Speckled Wood’s case: firstly it’s fragile because it’s sandwiched in amongst the urban world of Ore, Hastings and second it’s fragile because it’s under constant threat of being turned into yet more identikit matchbox houses as part of the politicians’ drive to make sure that every town in the southeast of England squeezes in as many new units as possible.
Walk around the outer edges of Speckled Wood and it can seem small – take a stroll through it and it’s a foresty tardis. Paths wobble around, streams appear, a man looks grumpy at his dog, schoolkids bunk off from dull lessons and there is an awful lot of nature. Smarter people than me can identify the birds I’m sure – I’ll just enjoy the leaping over stray bits of fallen tree. (I could have walked around but where’s the fun in that.)
There is a group that works hard to keep the wood going – both in the sense of keeping it an active part of the community and in the sense of keeping it at all. Their Facebook page is here. You should like them.