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Pond Life

The Alice Holt Forest.

Just on the borders of Hampshire and Surrey lays the Alice Holt Forest. It is described as 'Ancient' forest. I believe it gets this description for having been had some form of human habitation going back 2000 years.

It states that is mainly oak, oak that has been used down the centuries to build ships and more recently the Globe theatre. As you would imagine it contains all sorts of wildlife including adders and some really quite rare butterflies.

Whilst it does have some maintained areas it also has parts that give you a real sense of wild or untouched. They have walks and cycle paths marked out for varying degrees of capability. You see people about with kids or even wheelchair users. Whilst you accept that there are a lot of people there you can easily find parts that are isolated.

It contains a section called Go Ape that looks like an Ewok village up in the trees and has all sorts of obstacles and Krypton Factor zip lines. The sort of thing businesses sent thousands of people on as part of a team building exercise. It mainly seems to be used by groups of teenagers though but nice ones not the hooligan types.

The shortest marked walk is designed for those with kids that find walking through nature on it's o9wn just very dull. They have little play areas set out at about 10-15 min intervals that all have a nature theme, all made from wood and all pleasantly and nicely done. We have done this and one of the larger walks. It is entirely possible to go 'off piste' at any time and is in fact encouraged.

I went here as a child just the once but it stuck in my mind all this time and we have been visiting it now we have the car. It is a cracking place to take a family. Just as an aside, why is it in these sorts of places do you get those people that drive all the way there to set up their base on the edge of the car park? I have been to a few places like this in my life and it never ceases to amaze me. It is just like those people that went for a a picnic on the sides of the motorway when they first opened 50 years ago.  

Anywho...took the obligatory pictures. Not enough to give you the full visual treat but enough to get an idea.

First thing is this thing called the 3D maze. Wood house that is exactly what it says it is. I can just about get in and around this. For best effect though i allow the boys to climb in and make their way to the top whilst i shout through the sides "Where are you boy?". This gets great screams as does my poking my arm through to grab a limb. The best thing to do is to let them get to the top then i climb ala King Kong up the outside to the top in enough time to see them escape back in.  Great thing to look at play on and has a tree growing through it.




There are walks and talks and programs throughout the year including night time bat watch and how to survive in the wild, i think perhaps this is why you run across these things every now and then.




Part of the Ewok village. Sadly the lads are to young to go on this so TG and i may go back without them one weekend, just so i can get some better pics you understand.



Nature boy points out that that is a mouse that the giant owl is about to devour.



In a small moment of uncertainty Nature Boy thinks he may well be the intended meal.




Some nice parts of the forest.



A pair of beasts.



Nature boy crept up to this tree, if you look very closely you may see a woodpecker he found.



A squirrel we think.



Yes, deffo a squirrel.



Although not on the official Bat trail, we did spot one.



The reason the butterflies are rare ones here are that they have human heads.



Just keep running to you are completely out of my sight!




I will add to this thread as we go there more often. Some of the other play sites are fantastic but were obscured by revolting human beings, the ones that made it out of the car park that is.
Butts

Lovely photos, it looks vast.
Pond Life

It is quite big i think. You could easily spend a day going around and through it and not see it all.
bearing

Looks similar to Birches valley on Cannock Chase, FC will know of it...

Who's that beautiful lady in the first picture and is she cold or summat?

Also, with regards to the shouting 'where are you boy' and grabbing at limbs, do you make sure the parents are a good way off before you do it?
Pond Life

That is of course TG.

I suspect it looks like a few places, nice that they and others exist.

Not sure the other parents are that worried though i may have upset one child with the shouting i have not as yet grabbed any other childs limb.
Tank Girl

yesterday when we went we went off the main trail 'follow me everybody,' i said
and while they were looking at something or other and getting frightened of HOLLY, I walked on a little into the glade which was completely canopied by the tops of the trees, with slivers of sunlight cutting through making the lush leaves and grass it fell on sparkle. And then these three massive bright orange butterflies appeared, fluttering around and around me. it was like a scene out of Avatar and completely magical.
Pond Life

I told you not to eat that mushroom.
Pond Life

Just for the record i was not scared of the holly at all. Cool dude and Nature boy had some issues around it what with their shorts.

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