Environment Magazine

What a Difference a Season Makes…

Posted on the 22 January 2016 by Ascott @AmandaScott7

Crowhill Valley, which lies not far from Grampound, is one of my favorite woodlands in Cornwall. I wrote about this wonderful place back in May, 2014, when the bluebells were blooming merrily and the sun was shining (read about it here). The path through the wood wanders along by the side of the River Fal. It is a very watery place, with an old mill race running to the west of the Fal, just out of sight behind the trees, and numerous small man-made and natural streams chuckling along between the two main watercourses.

I was in the area today, so I decided to call by and have an afternoon walk. There was a particular tree I wanted to get a photograph of, and I had my camera with me, so it made sense. Hmmm…I should maybe have thought ahead, or even read the SSSI citation for the site, which states very clearly that “the water table fluctuates and in periods of high rainfall much of the woodland is inundated”. We have had quite a lot of rainfall recently.

Here’s what the path through the woods looked like in May…


…and here’s what it looked like today.


The path is in the foreground of this photo, I promise you. Occasionally it made a brave effort to break the surface, but mostly it was forced to lurk beneath all this water. I did walk (wade) a bit of the way in to the woods – the water was fairly shallow – and it was quite fun, in a wet sort of way. Eventually, I gave up. I was the only person there and, being quite a risk-averse soul, I had visions of tripping over a submerged bramble branch and spraining my ankle, or worse.

The tree I wanted to photograph was way ahead, so I’ll have to go back another day. Maybe I’ll wait until May.

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