Thursday, 20 November 2014

Cobblers' Pits

For my weekly wander, I decided to visit Cobblers' Pits near Wendover Woods. It's recently been taken over by the Chiltern Society so I was keen to have a look and see what was there.

It was mostly Yew trees, with some Beech and a fair amount of Box. Yew is interesting because it's a dark, evergreen tree that seems to suck the light out of a wood. It has a mysterious feel to it, possibly because of its association with church yards, but it certainly makes Cobblers' Pits feel atmospheric.

It's poisonous, so best not to hug a Yew tree, but the bark and trunk is worth a look. They are smooth and twisted into strange shapes and are coloured different shades of red, yellow and almost purple.

In places the Yew clears and the light really floods in. It really makes you appreciate the fabulous golden Beech leaves, which shine through the gloom.

There was plenty of Box in the woods, which is common in gardens (the stuff you use to shape into topiary), but is very rare in the wild. There are a number of conservation projects aimed at protecting the Box that grows wild around here, so I assume this wood will become part of those projects.


As I walked down the path, there were lots of birds twittering and squawking. It felt like they were cross that I was there and I got the impression that not many people visit these woods. I also found lots of badger setts that look like they are currently in use.


I walked right through the wood and got to a gate at the end of the path. This led out to a really narrow canal and tow path. There was a sign at this end of the wood that gave a bit of info about Cobblers' Pits.

I walked back up through the wood, but stayed off the main path. I came across some really big bones!

There was a bit of fungus around, mainly jelly fungus, some candlesnuff, earth-tongues and a few fairies bonnets. I also found a lovely clump of jelly ear and a Sickener growing out of the top of a tree stump.

Yellow jelly

Red jelly

White jelly

Jelly ear

Jelly ear from underneath
A little brown something

Fairies Bonnets

Candlesnuff and Earth-tongues

A little brown toadstall with a scaly cap

A Sickener growing out of the top of a tree stump

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