Being out in big open spaces, surrounded by nature is the best tonic for body and mind. So on Sunday I took such a walk over at Calke Abbey in Derbyshire. You can read more about the property here. On this occasion I didn't go into the house, preferring to walk in the 240 hectare Calke Park, of which 80 acres is a National Nature Park.
I took my camera to record the things I saw, its been a while since I've had both the time, and the energy to walk, and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience.
A lot of the trees are over 400 years old and two are around 1000 years old, and are amongst the oldest in the country, they were once part of the ancient wild wood of the area. Many insects live on
them, especially those associated with decaying wood as is found all over the park.
There are also several types of fungi to be found amongst the oak, lime and beech trees, I spotted a few varieties on my walk as you can see here. The weather remained good all morning, and I missed the showers that happened later in the afternoon.
After four and a half miles of steady walking I was ready for a drink, I really should have remembered my water container, as after a couple of hours I found myself in need of something to quench my thirst. Fortunately, there is a good restaurant at Calke Abbey, serving a variety of delicious hot and cold meals made with ingredients that are sourced locally. I settled for a pot of tea, and a home baked scone with jam and butter which I fell upon like someone who hadn't seen food for a month!
Walking has enabled me to get out and about and discover a variety of surroundings in different seasons. It clears the mind, and allows you head space, which comes in handy when you're a writer, living in both the real world, and the fictional one you visit regularly.
I have learnt things about nature I thought I would never be interested in, like the fungi that grows in abundance in Calke Park or the trees and plants I have seen in their natural habitat.
I felt tired afterwards, I've recently had a virus that refused to relent, and haven't felt able to go out and about much, so the walk was all the more welcome.