LAND 12 – Slusegård to Stenseby, 24.03.23

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LAND 12 The day started badly: I arrived at Slusegård just before sunrise without my rucksack and had to drive home again to fetch it. I was nearly an hour late by the time I finally started walking. It was raining and I quickly found a sheltered spot by the side of the road and set up my tarp. On a field opposite a pair of distant shelduck walked across the dull and sodden field.

Shelduck pair. Looking north from Strandvejen, near Slusegård

I headed north on the narrow road towards the hill of ‘Rispebjerg’ through an open agricultural landscape, a seldom visited part of Bornholm. Repeatedly my eyes were drawn to the farms, large and small, that dotted the landscape.


Sometimes I walked on the main road, but often I kept to narrow country lanes. Eventually I arrived, completely soaked through, at Sct. Povls kirke, a wonderfully pretty and well-maintained church, which sits beacon-like in the landscape. In the lee of its thick whitewashed walls, I sheltered from the wind and the rain.

View from Pouls Church, looking north

I continued west and arrived at Ringeborgen, a fascinating archaeological site that over five thousand years ago had been the site of a sun cult, with temples, woodhenges, and palisades. More recently still, it had been Bornholm’s largest iron age fortification with ramparts, dry moats and earthworks. One of the sun temples has been recreated, and from here it is possible to appreciate the defensive position of the site with commanding views of the surrounding area, now dominated (at least in my present state of mind) by industrial pig farms and silos.

Ringeborgen, with Bjerregård in the distance

The rain was finally blown away and replaced by a bright sun and blue sky, the wind even stronger now. The sky was suddenly filled with the incessant trilling of skylarks. Something (a peregrine, surely?) put up mixed flocks of gulls, crows, starling, and lapwing – a conveyor belt of confetti panic that exploded from the fields and wheeled and soared around, buffeted by the wind.

Looking north from Stensebyvejen

I sheltered a while on the edge of a small pine plantation.

Bønnestenene, seen from the pines

Along country roads, my eyes were repeatedly drawn to the geometric shapes of the huge pig farms.

As the sun neared the horizon, I walked through the tiny hamlet of Stenseby. Recently the locals had banded together to buy and demolish a derelict building, which they had replaced with an outdoor centre for the community to gather in – ‘Downtown Stenseby’ declared the proud sign.

I walked a little further a made one last sketch before, thankfully, being collected and driven back to my waiting car.


WEATHER REPORT – Rain in the morning, sunny in the afternoon. Windy. Temperature 8 degrees. Wind 6 – 10 m/s from the south and west. Hours of precipitation: 5 hours. Hours of sunshine: 4 hours.

STOPS with the BIVVY – 1


DAY LASTED – 11h and 50m


BIRDS SEEN and HEARD – 37 species: 3 new (linnet, song thrush and golden plover, running total = 68 species)

LESSONS LEARNED – Always, always bring a spare pencil.

IN MY HEAD – again, the planned biogas expansion, and all the things I should have said in the various meetings, interviews and debates I have attended. I recorded observations and arguments on my phone, which seemed to help a little. But I wish I could drop it when I’m out working.

LAND 11 – Bro Odde to Slusegård, 17.03.23

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LAND 11 The LAND project demands more ever from me physically as the sun rises earlier and the days lengthen but is a much-welcomed respite – the fulcrum upon which the rhythm of the week rests.

This week I started at the beach at Bro Odde and was reminded of both the similarities and the differences to my KYST project around Bornholm’s coastline five years ago. The strong southern wind threw the waves onto the shore, and I embraced the invigorating wildness of the coast.

View from the bench at Bro Odde

Soon, however it was time to move on, and I headed inland. I walked past a farm with some curious and rather skittish horses, surprised to see a passer-by so early in the morning.

I entered the forested summerhouse area that stretches along the southern coast. Originally, this had been an area of ever-shifting sand dunes, but it had been planted with pine trees in the mid-1800s. Later still, the whole area had been given over to summerhouses, and hundreds of them lie hidden between the pines.

Deep in the forest I explored the two huge gun emplacements, built by the German occupying troops during the Second World War. Originally planned to house two 38 cm cannons weighing 110 tons each, the artillery units were intended to obstruct Soviet forces from sailing through the Baltic Sea. They were, however, never completed, and now lie crumbling and almost hidden by the trees.

Gun emplacement G4

Moss and fern cover the graffiti-covered concrete walls, while roots choked the foundations. I thought about long-forgotten temples being reclaimed by the rainforest in Southeast Asia, and the concentric circles of the gun emplacement reminded me particularly of Borobudur temple in Java, Indonesia. This was, however, a temple to violence, at its centre not a seated Buddha, but instead giant steel screws to house the death-bringing cannon. The site was a reminder of man’s cruelty, but also of nature’s ability to eventually reclaim and heal all of our wounds.

Gun emplacement G3

I moved on, back into the fields. It felt good to be out in the open again moving through the landscape under an expansive sky. In the distance, the blue remembered hills of Paradisbakkerne.

View to Paradisbakkerne from Tjørnebyvejen

Eventually, I walked back into the pine forest and summerhouse area. I tried to capture the colours of the birch and pine forest, the heather and the sand, but I was tired, and I struggled to concentrate on the job at hand.

Coastal path by Sandvejen

I finished the day in Slusegaard, where the stone cottage housing a water wheel was reflected in the calm waters of the Mill Pond.

Mill Pond at Slusegård


WEATHER REPORT – overcast most of the day. Temperature 3 – 8 degrees. Wind 5 – 8 m/s from the south. Hours of precipitation: 0 hours. Hours of sunshine: 1 hours.

STOPS with the BIVVY – 0


DAY LASTED – 11h and 59m


BIRDS SEEN and HEARD – 36 species: 2 new (coot and black-headed gull, running total = 66 species)

LESSONS LEARNED – Nothing springs to mind

IN MY HEAD – For much of the day, I found it very hard to stop thinking about the planned Biogas expansion, the radio and TV interviews, the meetings and the forthcoming debates.

LAND 10 – Bodils Church to Bro Odde, 10.03.23

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LAND 10 Dawn at Bodil’s Church. Ahead, the flatlands of southern Bornholm stretched off into the distance. The sky grey and dark, my mood darker still.

Dawn. View from Hønselundsvejen

I headed south, the frigid east wind blowing across the frozen fields. The landscape felt imperceptibly different. The fields were large, dull and flat, the narrow country roads straight.

I stopped at the side of the road in the shelter of a small brick building – the old waterworks. Here, sandwiched between two huge industrial farms and a large solar panel farm, is a small uncultivated area – all that remains of a much larger meadow and wetland that once dominated this area. Drained and intensively cultivated, this small field was left fallow in the 90s, and was now brimming with life. Roe deer and hare grazed together with geese; stock doves, starlings, and lapwings milled around, while a rough-legged buzzard and a red kite circled above hunting for rodents, before settling in a nearby tree.

I walked on, continuing south. The solar farm looked like a strange geometric lake in the distance.

View from Graanakkevej mod vest.

Eventually I arrived on the edge of Hundsemyre, one of Bornholm’s wildest areas – over 50 acres of lake, swamp, forest, and scrub. As I entered, honking greylag geese scattered, their wingtips zipping up the air. In just a few days the reserve closes for the breeding season, and I felt like an intruder. Much of the path was waterlogged, but the mud and water were frozen, making it easier for me to navigate. Alder, willow, and birch dominated, and the dark swamp felt wonderfully neglected.

Melting ice and alder trees

Cormorants and various ducks sheltered from the wind or prepared to nest. I was overjoyed to get great views of a lesser spotted woodpecker, my first good sighting on Bornholm for over 10 years. My mood lifted somewhat.

The lesser spotted woodpecker (very cute)
Cormorants in the dead trees overlooking the lake
More cormorant studies

Leaving the reserve, I passed a charismatic herd of highland cattle.

I walked on, unable now to stop for long because of the cold. I walked through the outskirts of the village of Snogebæk, and continued, zigzagging across the fields and small roads, trying to keep warm. I could hear the roar of the sea.

Hares and geese, Smedvejen

As the sky darkened imperceptibly, I made one more painting, before walking through a summer house area and arriving at Bro Odde, the coast, where the foaming sea tumbled onto to the beach.

Dusk, from the bench, Søndre Mosevej


WEATHER REPORT – overcast all day. Temperature 0 – 2 degrees. Wind 3 – 5 m/s from the east. Hours of precipitation: 0 hours. Hours of sunshine: 0 hours.

STOPS with the BIVVY – 0


DAY LASTED – 11h and 15m


BIRDS SEEN and HEARD – 43 species: 11 new (Lesser spotted woodpecker, Stock dove, Great black-backed gull, Rough-legged buzzard, Goosander, Tufted duck, Teal, Shelduck, Barnacle goose, White-fronted goose, Mute swan, running total = 64 species)

LESSONS LEARNED – I should have taken my tarp, even though it was dry, I could have done with the cover.

IN MY HEAD – Biogas, greenwashing, the environment, biodiversity, the land, the LAND

LAND 09 – Rokkestenen to Bodils Church, 03.03.23

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LAND 09 Windstill and frosty at dawn, the tips of the tallest pine trees burned orange with the rising sun. Marley and I walked from the car park through the forest and up to Rokkesten, the day’s start point – Marley being my dog and enthusiastic fellow traveller for the day.

Rokkesten and Shoemakers Lake

We continued on the rocky and twisting path, down through muddy dells and over granite outcrops worn smooth thousands of years ago by the retreating glaciers. We eventually arrived at a more open area with an expansive view over the southern part of the island, where the blue frost on the grass was burned off by the sun.

View from Skotteklint

Down further still, to Kaasegaard, an attractively undulating landscape kept mostly open by grazing cows, sheep and…alpaca. In the past, ‘Klippeløkke’ such as this – hilly or rocky areas with thin soil used for pasture – were a significant element in Bornholm’s landscape, but very few remain today. Having never been ploughed or fertilised, they support a rich and diverse plant and animal life.

We carried on, past Slingesten and Linkisten and onwards to Gamleborg. Here I sat with a view over the valley and soaked in the warm sun while a pair of buzzards circled lazily overhead. In the far distance, I could hear cranes calling, mingling with the soporific droning of a chainsaw. Closer still, sporadic and hesitant sounds – the mesmeric song of the yellowhammer, drumming of the woodpecker, and bark of the pheasant – confirmed the sense that the forest was cautiously awakening from a deep sleep.

We marched on – past the Altersten and through a huge fir plantation, recently harvested. Heading south again, with the sun long gone and the wind increasing, we took shelter by the side of the Øle Stream.

Øle å

Both rather tired now, we walked up and over ‘Slamrebjerg’, a small hill with fine views over the flat agricultural landscape towards Nexø. Winter had returned, the sunny and warm morning a distant memory. Walking down the hill again, we crossed the invisible ‘Tornquist zone’ that divides the older granite and gneiss of Northern Bornholm, from the much younger sedimentary rocks of the south – a significant boundary.

View east to Nexø

We arrived cold, windswept and exhausted at Bodils Church, our destination. From there, once I had finished painting and the sun had officially set, it was another hour’s walk through the dusk back to the car.

Bodils church


WEATHER REPORT – Sunny in the morning, overcast in the afternoon. Temperature 1 – 4 degrees. Wind 3 – 8 m/s from the west. Hours of precipitation: 0 hours. Hours of sunshine: 5 hours.

STOPS with the BIVVY – 0


DAY LASTED – 10h and 49m


BIRDS SEEN and HEARD – 27 species: one new (lapwing, running total = 53 species)

LESSONS LEARNED – I am a cat person.

IN MY HEAD – the song ‘Southern Cross’ by Nine Black Alps.

LAND 08 – Paradisbakkevejen to Rokkestenen, 24.02.23

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LAND 08 Dawn felt rather mild with no hint of the rain that was forecast for later in the day. I headed east, down the hill and towards the sea. In a small copse by the roadside a small herd of fallow deer melted away at my approach.

Down in the open landscape again, I followed the road south, parallel to the coast. The sky was ever-darkening. I stopped to paint the distant skyline of Aarsdale and was overjoyed to hear my first skylark of the year break into song just above me. Two or three others quickly responded, and for a brief period I was utterly submerged in their mesmeric chorale.  As the first raindrops fell on my paper they suddenly stopped, and I was not to hear them again.

View from Sdr. Aarsdalevej

I packed up and walked on as the rain and wind intensified, stopping briefly to sketch the triangular gables of the farms stung out along between the fields and the coast.

View from Sdr. Aarsdalevej II

Turning into the wind I headed up towards the woods. I spent a long while trudging over muddy fields trying to find a path, but to no avail. Eventually I arrived at the Hell Hills, the less well-known and explored eastern cousin to the Paradise Hills. Here I wandered for a while, again struggling to find a decent trail. I arrived at a small stone structure, the site of one of Bornholm’s old ‘optical telegraph’ towers, which afforded me some shelter from the rain. I painted a sheet of paper and exposed it to the rain.

Rain painting I – increasing exposure time from left to right

I walked on. The badly maintained and waymarked paths, combined with my appalling sense of direction, resulted in many wet and muddy hours wandering the aptly named Hell Hills. I made more rain paintings but decided to concentrate on the GPS line recording my journey instead, meandering onwards in the mossy and sodden forest before eventually emerging into the more open and visitor-friendly Paradise Hills.

Rain painting II – increasing exposure time from left to right
View in the Hell Hills

By now the rain had ceased and with it my mood lifted. I walked along Kodal – a wonderfully picturesque rift valley with sides of mauve-grey granite bedecked in gold-green moss and burgundy heather.


Absolutely exhausted now I trudged on, around the perimeter of two small forest lakes, before arriving at my destination – ‘Rokkesten’, the Rocking Stone – a huge glacial erratic boulder perched on the bedrock. I tried to set it in motion but to no avail. Behind the clouds the sun set, and the day was done.


WEATHER REPORT – overcast, rain for much of the day. Temperature 3 degrees. Wind 8 m/s from the west. Hours of precipitation: 6 hours. Hours of sunshine: 0 hours.

STOPS with the BIVVY – 1


DAY LASTED – 10h and 20m


BIRDS SEEN and HEARD – 26 species: two new (skylark, whooper swan, running total = 51 species)

LESSONS LEARNED – My waterproof trousers get heavy when wet. I had to hold them up with one hand as I walked. Also, the path ‘Spor i landskabet’ on the map does not exist in reality.

IN MY HEAD – the song ‘Down so Long’ by the Doors: on repeat, the beat in time with my step.

LAND 07 – Ibsker Church to Paradisbakkevejen, 16.02.23

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LAND 07 I sat on a bench in the immaculately maintained graveyard, the white church in front of me almost completely obscured by the heavy fog. Behind me two men were already at work, repointing the outer stone wall. I finished my painting, packed up, and walked off into the landscape, and for a long while, I could still hear their tools tapping away through the whiteness.

Ibs Kirke

I walked on small roads and tracks between recently ploughed fields. The fog an oppressive blanket removing me from any sense of time and place.


Eventually I reached the edge of Paradisbakkerne – The Paradise Hills – a large area of plantations, mixed woodlands, and heathland that I will be meandering in and out of for the next three weeks. The whiteness hung in the trees and extinguished almost all sound.


I followed a path through the forest and into ‘Gåsemyrfredningen’, a large open heathland and a taste of how much of the island would have looked in the past, when the central part of Bornholm was a common area for grazing and heather collection – before it was closed off and planted with fir plantations. The fog created an ethereal dream-like landscape, with the twisted shapes of juniper trees fading into the mist, and the heavens melting imperceptibly into the still waters of the bog.


I walked onwards and followed a well-worn path back into the forest, past huge boulders, and alongside deep fern-clad dells. The Paradise Hills are scarred by a series of parallel rift valleys cut into the granite bedrock – some wide and rather smooth, others narrow with near vertical sides.


All day I wandered through the fog, past lakes, bogs, and through an ever-changing woodland – often wild and diverse, other times more orderly and homogenous. I arrived in the heathland again – visibility had improved a little by now, and I admired the purple-grey granite against the burgundy of the heath, the deep racing-green of the juniper, and the burnt ochre of the dead grass. I was glad to be away from the monotonous cultivated fieldscapes of the previous weeks.


Eventually I arrived at Midterpilt, and then Østerpilt – small triangular stone navigation markers built on exposed areas and used in days gone past to guide people across the moors, but now rather hidden in the woods. The fine mist left a delicate pattern on my painting. I walked on, through the forest and then back across the fields, and the day was over.



WEATHER REPORT – Thick fog, thinning to a fine mist in the afternoon. Temperature 3 degrees. Wind 4 – 6 m/s from the west. Hours of precipitation: 0 hours. Hours of sunshine: 0 hours.

STOPS with the BIVVY – 0


DAY LASTED – 9h and 44 m

PEOPLE TALKED TO – 1, (…also said ‘hi’ to a few walkers)

BIRDS SEEN and HEARD – 22 species: two new (coal tit, crossbill, running total = 49 species)

LESSONS LEARNED – how to take apart my stool in the easiest way – a minor, boring detail, but I’ll be doing it hundreds of times through the year…

IN MY HEAD – Mostly I was thinking about the passing of my father-in-law, peacefully on Sunday. A kind, warm, humble, and tolerant family man who will be sorely missed by many. I thought a lot about life and death. I thought about the role of the church in Denmark today  – as a site for ritual assembly, rather than for Christian worship.

LAND 06 – Lyrehøj to ibsker church – 10.02.23

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LAND 06 From my vantage point at the bend of the road I counted no less than seven hares together in one field – first resting, then energetically chasing each other across the stubble and disturbing the feeding rooks and wood pigeons. Not quite a sign of spring, but certainly a sign of late winter and longer days.

Dawn an hour or so earlier had started with the sunrise hidden behind the clouds, but now the sun was shining, and I was excited to see what the day would bring. I headed north and then east, firstly making some small sketches of interesting geometric shapes, then spending far too long trying to capture the tonal and chromatic relationships between the sky, the sea and the fields.

A well-mown dog walkers’ path took me to the Vasa stream, which I followed upstream for a while, soon arriving at the mighty ‘Great Oak’ of Vasa – in whose company I spent several devotional hours, marveling at the deeply rutted bark and expansive crooked limbs. Well over 300 years old, this is officially Bornholm’s thickest tree and well deserving of its title.

Feeling energised and positive, I headed south again, up into an expansive and gently undulating landscape, cloaked in a patchwork of ochres, umbers and greens and framed by the steely blue of the Baltic Sea. I stopped to sketch one of the many ‘høje’ – burial mounds – that were scattered across the landscape. This area had been the site of ‘Sorte Muld’ an important religious centre in the years 300 – 600 AD and is today an important archaeological location where thousands of tiny gold amulets have been discovered.

As I stood sketching, I became aware of a very distant high-pitched sound. My first thought was lapwings, but it was much too early in the year, and the sound was much more insistent and melodic. Perhaps it was the wind blowing through overhead cables – but again, far too melodious, and intricate. Perhaps it was the chanting of iron-age druids carried through time? Then suddenly it dawned on me – the noise I was hearing was the singing of the gibbons that lived in ‘Brændegaardshaven’ a nearby zoo/amusement park. The wind was blowing their incredible and mournful song across the valley right to where I was standing. It was unsettling and enormously incongruous to hear their calls carried across the freezing Baltic wind, so far from their steamy rainforest home in Southeast Asia. But it was also incredibly moving and beautiful.

I walked on. Down and closer to Svaneke again, where I was attracted by the jumbled skyline of sheds, silos, the windmill and farms.

Svaneke seen from Korshøje

For the last time, I doubled back and headed southwest again. Soon I arrived at Hallebrøndshøj passage grave. Long before Sorte Muld emerged as a power, this area had been settled, and some time around 5.500 years ago the local farming community had constructed this burial site. Incredibly I could crawl into the grave chamber where, on a bed of dry leaves and protected from the burgeoning winds, I sat and enjoyed a warm coffee and got to work.

From the inside looking out
From the outside looking in

A few hours later a fine mist descended, and the day was over. I trudged all the way back to where I had left the car as dusk fell, exhausted but full of extraordinary memories and experiences.


WEATHER REPORT – cloudy start, then some hazy sunshine, then cloudy in the afternoon. Temperature between 4 and 6 degrees. Wind 8 – 10 m/s from the southwest and northwest. Hours of precipitation: 0 hours. Hours of sunshine: 5 hours.

STOPS with the BIVVY – 0


DAY LASTED – 9h and 28 m

PEOPLE TALKED TO – 1 (while sitting in the passage grave, I heard voices – a man and his young son were visiting. They got quite a shock when they saw me inside. They were the only people I saw all day).

BIRDS SEEN and HEARD – 24 species: two new (grey heron and starling, running total = 47 species)


IN MY HEAD – I was thinking of how different LAND is from my KYST trip, in so many ways. I feel like I’m starting to get a feel for rural Bornholm – the fields, valleys, woods and farms – and the LAND project has completely taken over my life.

LAND 05 – Lyrsby Wood to Lyrehøj, 03.02.23

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LAND 05 Snow had fallen overnight, and I was ten minutes late for the start of the day. I headed west at daybreak, the sleeting snow together with the strong wind made any attempts at sketching almost impossible.

I walked across an open and gently undulating terrain, the snow and sleet settled in intersecting lines across the fields. Visibility was poor and all colour and contrast was obliterated by the stinging sleet.

By chance I stumbled across a wooden bus shelter with its back to the wind. I settled within, thankful for the cover. Here I waited for several long hours, as the snow turned to sleet and then driving rain. Quite suddenly the wind changed direction and the rain came in and soaked my gear – I had no choice but to pack up again and keep moving.

Corner of Myregårdsvej and Ølenevej, The first one…
The second one, after the sleet turned to rain

I walked onwards and turned into a farm track which took me past a small wood where I sheltered under my ‘tarp’ and cooked up some warm food. This was definitely off the beaten track and I felt far removed from everything. Eventually, the rain stopped and I packed up and walked onwards through the thick muddy slush.

With the clearer weather, deep browns, ochres and greens flooded back into the landscape. I walked along another small track past some old farms and through an old wood where some antique farm implements lay forgotten on the leafy mulch. Continuing past a wonderful old ash tree I crossed the Vasa stream in full spate and headed north again.

The edge of a field had been left uncultivated and suddenly there were yellowhammers, finches and sparrows feeding on the deadheads of thistles and other wildflowers. Overhead a white-tailed sea eagle soared majestically past and lifted my mood immeasurably. A chance conversation with an artist friend whose house I passed confirmed my faith in nature’s ability to rebound from our worst efforts to mess it up. I made some more quick sketches.

View of Ibsker from Lindholmsvej

The day regrettably not to end on a high – the rain returned and I trudged damp and exhausted on to my destination as the light faded.


WEATHER REPORT – Snow, sleet and rain clearing for a few hours in the afternoon. Temperature between 1 and 4 degrees. Wind 8 m/s from the southwest and northwest. Hours of precipitation:  6 hours. Hours of sunshine: 0 hours.

STOPS with the BIVVY – 1


DAY LASTED – 8h and 40 m


BIRDS SEEN and HEARD – 24 species: two new (robin, white-tailed sea eagle, running total = 45 species)

LESSONS LEARNED – Put your pencil THEN your sketchbook in your pocket, not the other way round.

IN MY HEAD – how fast trees grow and provide cover

LAND 04 – Østermarie Church to Lyrsby Wood, 27.01.23

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LAND 04 The church clock struck eight. Behind the clouds the sun had rose above the horizon and I started my journey. I walked through the village of Østermarie, before heading east again out over the fields and towards the sea. Perhaps it was the weather, or the time of the day, but I was struck by a sort of frontier independent spirit in the village and in the surrounding homes and farms. There were small art galleries and quirky second-hand shops, old-fashioned farmhouses, and huge industrial pig factories. Everyone seemed to be doing their own thing and getting on with it.

Some boats, just outside of Østermarie

The sun was struggling to emerge behind horizontal bands of thick and low clouds. The north-easterly wind felt very bitterly cold. I made several small sketches trying to record the spatial and tonal relationships between the fields, the rows of trees, the sky, and the distant sea. Every now and then the sun would break through, casting slivers of dazzling light onto the landscape.

I walked through a small wood, in the lee of which I rested for a while. An immature goshawk shot past overhead, quickly followed by the startled clattering of wood pigeons flying off in panic. I sat on an old bench beside a huge stately oak tree ‘Herold’s Oak’ or ‘the Key Oak’, with a fantastic view over the surrounding landscape. According to tradition, within this tree lies the key that guards the happiness of the adjacent farm.

View from the bench, Herolds Oak

Next to the tree was a small derelict house. The surrounding garden was completely overgrown, and several trees had fallen and destroyed the roof, but it was still possible to walk around inside. Piles of dead leaves, bird’s nests and mummified rodents littered the rotten floor and the windowsills. It was a wonderfully evocative and peaceful place where I couldn’t help but imagine the life of its former inhabitants and marvel at the passing of time.

View from the kitchen

In what must have been the house’s front garden I saw my first snowdrops. I walked on through the landscape, glad to be outside and on the move. Eventually I came to the bridge over Gyldens Stream, which cut a deep and narrow valley into the landscape. I had heard that a dipper, one of my favourite birds, had taken up residence by the bridge recently but it was nowhere to be seen. I walked along the stream for a while and found a fantastic, secluded spot where I tried to capture the water as it flew over the granite boulders. My first attempt became much too fussy, my second, done in a fraction of the time, was a little more successful.

First one
Second one

The day was drawing to a close and I still had a way to go. Heading west again, firstly on the main road, I visited Louiselund where over 50 menhirs stand in an open beech wood. I had no time to really appreciate the attractiveness or gravity of the site and trudged regrettably onwards – through Lyresby Wood and onwards to the setting of the sun and my wife and dog waiting in the car.


WEATHER REPORT – Mostly overcast with sunny periods. Temperature between 1 and 3 degrees. Wind 8 m/s from the northeast. Hours of precipitation: 0 hours. Hours of sunshine: 1 hour.

STOPS with the BIVVY – 0


DAY LASTED – 8h and 31 m

PEOPLE TALKED TO – 1 (I met a fellow walker and we chatted for a while)

BIRDS SEEN and HEARD – 32 species: eight new (House sparrow, Goldfinch, Redwing, Fieldfare, Collared dove, Feral pigeon, Goshawk, Redpoll, running total = 43 species)

LESSONS LEARNED – I tried some different gloves out – a mistake, my hands froze: back to the mittens next week.

IN MY HEAD –Downton Abbey, ‘Over and over’ by Hot Chip, my father-in-law, my children, worms, and – constantly banging on the edges of my consciousness – Biogas.