The Winter HedgeWalks in a Deep Lane
by Miriam Darlington
ISBN 978 1 913627 32 4
Published November 2023
24 printed pages
We barely notice hedges; there is something intrinsically marginal about them – although they are likely to seize our attention when they shine with blackberries or when a bramble snags a favourite garment.
In her evocative and absorbing prose piece, leading naturalist Miriam Darlington walks one of her local Devon hedges in winter, putting it centre-stage. Every step sees her paying close attention to the creatures who shelter in it and to the plants that sustain them. At every moment, her senses are vividly alive to the hedge’s raw beauty in this harshest season of the year:
“Rosy-purple twigs of dogwood, sleeping moths amongst the towering beauty of oaks, bark textures fresh and bare, lifting your mood, twig by knotty twig. Black ash knuckles. King Alfred’s cakes. Hart’s tongue ferns. The earth smells of old thorns, dog rose and ropes of dried honeysuckle…”
This is a pamphlet to return to again and again, as one might repeat a favourite walk.
Cover illustration by Niki Bowers.
Donation to the Woodland Trust.