Engish forests and warm but smart jackets?

Discussion in 'General Fitness' started by Alan Hogg, Mar 26, 2006.

  1. Alan Hogg

    Alan Hogg Guest

    Hi there,
    I am from New Zealand and have lurked on your newsgroup for a few years
    now, enjoying reading about how hill walking is done in the UK where
    conditions are very different from here. I will be visiting England early
    April until after Easter and had a couple of queries I would love some
    advice on. My wife and I will be travelling by car from Bath to
    Portsmouth, Exeter, Plymouth, Penzance and back to Bath, staying mostly at
    B&Bs. I would like to spend an hour or two wandering in a mature deciduous
    forest - an ideas where we could go on this itinerary? Is the Spring
    growth likely to have started in Southern England by April 10 or so? We
    have many oaks here of course, but none more than 150 or so years old and
    not in large numbers. Also I will be in London for a couple of days and
    would like to pick up a reasonably priced windproof warm jacket that looks
    smart - fleece is warm enough but often piles and looks tatty after a
    while. Any ideas on specific jackets, approxmate costs and where to get
    them in Central London would be much appreciated. Many thanks, Alan Hogg,
    University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand.
     
    Tags:


  2. Alan Hogg wrote:
    My wife and I will be travelling by car from Bath to
    > Portsmouth, Exeter, Plymouth, Penzance and back to Bath, staying mostly at
    > B&Bs. I would like to spend an hour or two wandering in a mature deciduous
    > forest - an ideas where we could go on this itinerary? Is the Spring


    I'd have to say, if you've got time near to Portsmouth, the New Forest
    and the area around it would be your best bet. You can take your pick of
    forest environment. The Beech (which differs from NZ beech the forest is
    much more open) and oak woodlands are especially attractive.

    M.
     
  3. Nick Pedley

    Nick Pedley Guest

    "Alan Hogg" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:[email protected]
    > Hi there,
    > I am from New Zealand, I will be visiting England early
    > April until after Easter and had a couple of queries
    > I would like to spend an hour or two wandering in a mature deciduous
    > forest - an ideas where we could go on this itinerary?


    While you are in the London area come out to Epping Forest on the
    Underground. Walk from Theydon Bois or Loughton over to Chingford station,
    this takes you past the old Queen Elizabeth Hunting Lodge (with a nice pub
    next door). http://tinyurl.com/3mnr8
    You might even see some deer running around! This is actually a day stroll
    but if you get a car you could park in High Beech at the visitor centre and
    do a nice circular stroll from there. There's not much greenery on the trees
    yet but we have 2 weeks to go.

    While in London head for Covent Garden which is one of those 'must do
    tourist spots' with great little craft shops and street entertainment. Most
    of the major outdoor gear shops like Snow and Rock, Field and Trek, Ellis
    Brigham, North Face all have shops round there, check their websites.

    Drop me a line if you need any details or more advice.

    Nick
     
  4. Alan Hogg wrote:
    > Hi there,
    > I am from New Zealand and have lurked on your newsgroup for a few years
    > now, enjoying reading about how hill walking is done in the UK where
    > conditions are very different from here. I will be visiting England early
    > April until after Easter and had a couple of queries I would love some
    > advice on. My wife and I will be travelling by car from Bath to
    > Portsmouth, Exeter, Plymouth, Penzance and back to Bath, staying mostly at
    > B&Bs. I would like to spend an hour or two wandering in a mature deciduous
    > forest - an ideas where we could go on this itinerary? Is the Spring
    > growth likely to have started in Southern England by April 10 or so? We
    > have many oaks here of course, but none more than 150 or so years old and
    > not in large numbers. Also I will be in London for a couple of days and
    > would like to pick up a reasonably priced windproof warm jacket that looks
    > smart - fleece is warm enough but often piles and looks tatty after a
    > while. Any ideas on specific jackets, approxmate costs and where to get
    > them in Central London would be much appreciated. Many thanks, Alan Hogg,
    > University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand.


    As someone has already mentioned, the New Forest is one obvious
    destination. Depending on how long you're staying in Bath, you could
    pop across the River Severn to the Forest of Dean (who might even see a
    wild boar). You could also try Longleat Forest, (not sure how deciduous
    it is these day though) plus there are plenty of smaller woods dotted
    around the area just to the north of the Salisbury plain.

    Enjoy the visit!

    John
     
  5. Try Eartham Wood area a few miles northeast from Chichester, which in turn
    is about 14 miles east from Portsmouth. Also, walking north from near
    Goodwood race course will take you into some large forest on the South
    Downs. Plenty of paths and tracks to create cicular routes.

    --
    Sandy Saunders @ www.thewalkzone.co.uk

    'Mountains or Mole Hills .....
    summiting still brings the
    same excitement'
     
  6. Alan Hogg wrote:

    > I am from New Zealand and have lurked on your newsgroup for a few
    > years now, enjoying reading about how hill walking is done in the UK
    > where conditions are very different from here.


    Different in what way?

    > I would like to spend an hour or two
    > wandering in a mature deciduous forest


    To be honest, we don't have very much decidious forest left in the UK, we
    cut most of it down a long time ago. Most of what's left tends to exist in
    little nooks and crannies, like steep narrow valleys. There are quite a few
    green splodges on the UK map, but most of those are forestry commission
    conifers.

    > - an ideas where we could go
    > on this itinerary?


    As has been suggested, the New Forest and the Forest of Dean seem to be your
    best bets. But again, don't be fooled into thinking that they're all
    decidious. A lot of the New Forest is conifers, which fill the gaps between
    the decidious trees, so there isn't as much native tree growth as you might
    expect from a quick glance at the map. (An OS map shows decidious and
    coniferous symbols so you can see which bits are which.)

    > We have many oaks here of course,
    > but none more than 150 or so years old


    Well that's not bad. The "New" Forest wasn't planted all that long ago.
    Not sure of the exact history, but I think it was planted in response to the
    British Navy deforesting large areas, or something like that.

    > and not in large numbers.


    Surely you've got plenty of old trees left in Fangorn Forest? Or did
    Saruman cut most of them down? ;-)

    Paul
     
  7. Paul Saunders wrote

    > Surely you've got plenty of old trees left in Fangorn Forest? Or did
    > Saruman cut most of them down? ;-)


    Most of the giant Kauri trees were logged out in the 18th and 19th
    centuries. Fortunately the few that are left are now protected but they
    take so long to grow that it'll be several hundred years before they
    get anywhere near like they were before the Europeans arrived.

    Chris
     
  8. Chris Gilbert wrote:

    > Most of the giant Kauri trees were logged out in the 18th and 19th
    > centuries. Fortunately the few that are left are now protected but
    > they take so long to grow that it'll be several hundred years before
    > they get anywhere near like they were before the Europeans arrived.


    One of these eh? Impressive.
    http://members.tripod.com/NZPhoto/pan/KauriPan.jpg

    And here's our best effort;
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/nottingham/360/where_to_go/sherwood_forest/major_oak_angle.shtml

    Sorry I couldn't find a bigger picture.

    Paul
     
  9. Paul Saunders wrote

    > One of these eh? Impressive.
    > http://members.tripod.com/NZPhoto/pan/KauriPan.jpg


    That's the doobrie. Here's Tanu Mahuta, the biggest of the bunch ...

    http://www.whirleygig.co.uk/~cgilbert/NZ/images/NZ025.jpg

    They were favoured by the loggers because they are absolutely
    fantastic for building, being free of lower branches means that
    the wood is knot free. Hundreds of tons of nice smooth building
    material. San Francisco was built mainly from Kauri. When it was
    destroyed in the 1906 earth quake they went back and got enough
    Kauri to rebuild it. Astonishingly arrogant profligacy from all
    involved. Its amazing there's any left at all

    Chris
     
  10. W. D. Grey

    W. D. Grey Guest

  11. Alan Hogg

    Alan Hogg Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, "W.D.Grey"
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    > In article <[email protected]>, Chris Gilbert
    > <[email protected]> writes
    > >
    > >Paul Saunders wrote
    > >
    > >> One of these eh? Impressive.
    > >> http://members.tripod.com/NZPhoto/pan/KauriPan.jpg

    > >
    > >That's the doobrie. Here's Tanu Mahuta, the biggest of the bunch ...
    > >
    > >http://www.whirleygig.co.uk/~cgilbert/NZ/images/NZ025.jpg

    >
    > Could be the same tree !


    Many thanks for all responses - it is much appreciated. I am sure we will
    have a good time, irrespective of whether the trees are deciduous or
    conifers!

    Yes, the photos above are both of Tane Mahuta and yes Paul, we have
    bucketloads of mature indigenous native forest, but not of oaks of course
    which are imported from your neck of the woods!

    Thanks again,

    Alan Hogg
     
  12. Phil Cook

    Phil Cook Guest

  13. W. D. Grey wrote

    > Could be the same tree !


    Paul's image seems to have a large crack running up it. To be honest
    they all take more or less the same form and are hard to tell apart.
    For reference, the people in my image are about half way between
    me and the tree. I estimated the trunk to be about 10m in
    diameter.

    Chris
     
  14. W. D. Grey

    W. D. Grey Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, Chris Gilbert
    <[email protected]> writes
    >W. D. Grey wrote
    >
    >> Could be the same tree !

    >
    >Paul's image seems to have a large crack running up it. To be honest
    >they all take more or less the same form and are hard to tell apart.
    >For reference, the people in my image are about half way between
    >me and the tree. I estimated the trunk to be about 10m in
    >diameter.
    >
    >Chris
    >
    >

    The photos certainly were taken at different ages in the life of the
    tree, and I did notice the crack. Much more diagnostic are the four
    "growths" on the front of the tree - they are exactly the same in both
    photos. Also if you can ignore the canopy growth you can see the top of
    the tree has been broken, but what remains is the same in both pictures.
    --
    Bill Grey
    http://www.billboy.co.uk
     
  15. W. D. Grey wrote

    > Much more diagnostic are the four "growths" on the front of the tree


    It's a lemon entry, my dear Watson ;-)

    Probably taken at different times of day.

    Chris
     
  16. W. D. Grey

    W. D. Grey Guest

  17. AndyP

    AndyP Guest

    Paul Saunders wrote:
    > Alan Hogg wrote:
    >
    > > I am from New Zealand and have lurked on your newsgroup for a few
    > > years now, enjoying reading about how hill walking is done in the UK
    > > where conditions are very different from here.

    >
    > Different in what way?


    Different in that we don't have 10 stoat traps to trip over along the
    CMD Arete like they have in just one short 150m odd section along the
    very crest of the St. Arnaud ridge in Nelson Lakes, NZ.

    Different in that we don't have flights of wooden steps along Striding
    Edge like they have on some of the ridge section of the Kepler Track,
    NZ.

    Different in that we don't have marker poles every 20 metres to follow
    across the Carneddau like they do on the Tongariro Crossing/Northern
    Circuit, NZ.

    Different in that we've removed a couple of old shelters from Ben Nevis
    rather than building a brand new 30 bed Youth Hostel style hut on
    stilts up it like the Meuller Hut in a stunningly beautiful spot just
    below the summit of Mt. Oliver(?) a short 2 to 3 hour walk up from Mt.
    Cook Village, NZ.

    New Zealand's a fantastic place with some beautiful & very different
    scenery but the Dept. of Conservation(DOC) do seem intent on
    controlling it in a rather intrusive way as I believe someone else said
    here just before I went. I'd love to go back again sometime though to
    delve a bit deeper. You can escape the plastic orange triangle markers
    for a while and find your own little space to camp alone if you try.
     
  18. AndyP wrote:

    >> Different in what way?

    >
    > Different in that we don't have 10 stoat traps to trip over


    > Different in that we don't have flights of wooden steps


    > Different in that we don't have marker poles every 20


    > Different in that we've removed a couple of old shelters from Ben
    > Nevis rather than building a brand new 30 bed Youth Hostel style hut


    > New Zealand's a fantastic place with some beautiful & very different
    > scenery but the Dept. of Conservation(DOC) do seem intent on
    > controlling it in a rather intrusive way


    Actually, I've been reading a bit about NZ tramping trails recently and I
    found an interesting explanation about the highly maintained trails.
    Apparently most of the tramping trails in the NZ wilderness can be quite
    dangerous and don't satisfy international safety standards. With the
    massive influx of overseas hikers, rather than trying to maintain the entire
    trail network, they've opted to maintain a relatively small number of
    popular trails to a very high standard, and then highly pubilicise those
    trails to concentrate most of the tourists onto them. This keeps
    maintenance costs down and reduces accidents by keeping most of the people
    on the safe trails.

    Meanwhile, there are a huge number of other trails available which are
    potentially a lot more dangerous, many with no bridges (apparently river
    crossings are the number one cause of deaths in the NZ wilderness), and few
    other trampers are encountered on these trails. So apparently, that's the
    way to get away from the crowds and experience the true wilderness. A lot
    more dangerous, but then, that's the nature of real wilderness, isn't it?

    As for the huts, apparently the reason they are so popular in preference to
    camping is because of the intense rainstorms they frequently get. Even if
    camping on well drained ground, in very heavy rain your tent can be flooded
    because the water can't drain quickly enough. Also landslides are quite
    common during heavy rain, so when there's a heavy rain warning it's
    recommended that you stay in the nearest hut until it passes. So when it
    rains there, landslides and impassable streams are more of a worry than how
    breathable your waterproofs are! :-0

    Looking on Google Earth, I think I've found a couple of landslides. What do
    you reckon? (Not sure how best to link to these locations without adding
    them to the Google Earth community. Anyone know?) Anyway, here are the
    coordinates;

    "Landslide?" lat=-41.0065375269, lon=172.649905937
    "Landslide?" lat=-41.019453512, lon=172.618932895

    I also found a plateau type landform that looks suspiciously similar to the
    Brecon Beacons, which I think I've identified as Mount Misery. What on
    earth is this plateau doing in the middle of this mountain range?

    "Mount Misery" lat=-41.5613500836, lon=172.279522445

    Paul
     
  19. Paul Saunders wrote:

    > Apparently most of the tramping trails in the NZ wilderness can be quite
    > dangerous and don't satisfy international safety standards. With the
    > massive influx of overseas hikers, rather than trying to maintain the entire
    > trail network, they've opted to maintain a relatively small number of
    > popular trails to a very high standard, and then highly pubilicise those
    > trails to concentrate most of the tourists onto them.


    Agreed. Also, mountain rescue is concentrated on the trails. You are
    required to book the hut accomodation ahead then check out af and into
    the huts as you move along the trail. If you don't turn up at the next
    hut
    then they send out the helicopter but it only looks along the trail or
    close to it. The presumption is that if you go missing from the trail
    then
    they're looking for a body rather than a live person.

    > Looking on Google Earth, I think I've found a couple of landslides.


    We saw the remains of a few hushes while we were there. Very dramatic
    with entire hillsides swept clear.

    Chris
     
  20. AndyP

    AndyP Guest

    Paul Saunders wrote:
    > Actually, I've been reading a bit about NZ tramping trails recently and I
    > found an interesting explanation about the highly maintained trails.
    > Apparently most of the tramping trails in the NZ wilderness can be quite
    > dangerous and don't satisfy international safety standards. With the
    > massive influx of overseas hikers, rather than trying to maintain the entire
    > trail network, they've opted to maintain a relatively small number of
    > popular trails to a very high standard, and then highly pubilicise those
    > trails to concentrate most of the tourists onto them. This keeps
    > maintenance costs down and reduces accidents by keeping most of the people
    > on the safe trails.
    >
    > Meanwhile, there are a huge number of other trails available which are
    > potentially a lot more dangerous, many with no bridges (apparently river
    > crossings are the number one cause of deaths in the NZ wilderness), and few
    > other trampers are encountered on these trails. So apparently, that's the
    > way to get away from the crowds and experience the true wilderness. A lot
    > more dangerous, but then, that's the nature of real wilderness, isn't it?


    Actually, it's a bit weird. As you say the "Great Walks" and some
    other popular trails are maintained to make them easy for people to
    walk. Fair enough, I expected them to be a bit like going up Ben Nevis
    and chatting to people from all over the world along the Abel Tasman
    beaches is all part of the experience. But even on the unfrequented
    tracks like those in Arthur's Pass where there are sections where you
    have to fight your way through head high tussock grass, cross some
    potentially dangerous rivers a dozen times in a kilometre and descend
    500m unstable scree slopes there are plastic orange triangle markers
    jumping out at you every so often, chains to get up some quite easy
    scrambles, new boardwalks are being put in over the boggy bits and
    there are huts (& plastic portaloos) every few kilometres that are
    being upgraded. It could still have a great wild and adventurous feel
    to it if it wasn't for all that.

    I think a lot of the tracks and huts only originated in the 50s and 60s
    as part of the government backed deer culling programme. Apparently it
    was a lot tougher before that. And it has to be said if it wasn't for
    the hacked out tracks you would be hard pushed to find a way through
    some of the New Zealand bush and scrub. Should be a worthwhile
    experience trying though and one place a hammock might be useful.

    > As for the huts, apparently the reason they are so popular in preference to
    > camping is because of the intense rainstorms they frequently get. Even if
    > camping on well drained ground, in very heavy rain your tent can be flooded
    > because the water can't drain quickly enough. Also landslides are quite
    > common during heavy rain, so when there's a heavy rain warning it's
    > recommended that you stay in the nearest hut until it passes. So when it
    > rains there, landslides and impassable streams are more of a worry than how
    > breathable your waterproofs are! :-0


    Yes, landslides and floods don't seem to be that uncommon, even the
    "Great Walks" can go across fairly recent previous landslides. I saw a
    lot of rain over the last couple of months and turned back from one
    route because of river levels but not enough to make me want to leave
    my tent behind and stay in a hut crammed full of 39 other people.
    (Sharing a little crappy old 6 bed hut with some pissed up local
    hunters is good though.) It also has to be said that good low level
    wild campsites away from the huts aren't nearly so easy to find as they
    are in this country, most of the ones I used were on gravel river flats
    using rocks for anchors.
     
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