We both did stuff on the computer in the morning, but after lunch we set off for the forest. The "short walk" turned out to be 6.5 miles, but it was a very nice walk through some of our loveliest local forest. Though we parked at a car park I've visited often and set off along familiar tracks, we ended up in a part of the forest even G didn't know. It was absolutely dripping in moss, so must be even damper and more sheltered than the parts I know better.
Anyway, this is being posted in a hurry and for some reason PhotoShop Elements won't open, so I haven't been able to process the photos, so they're straight from camera, but here is the wide forest track near the start of the walk.
One of the reasons for going this way was to see whether the road up the valley was now open. There was a huge storm about 3 years ago and a huge swathe of trees came down and piled up like matchsticks, blocking the road. We'd seen a friend who lives up there (they've been having to use a longer detour to get into town) and she said the road was now OK, but we thought we'd check before trying it ourselves. You can see the slope to the right has now been cleared, but that's where the trees were flattened.
I could see a red warning sign (just visible in the photo) but it was too far away to read. The zoom lens, however, reveals its message.
A little further on, we passed this abandoned house. This house flooded in the terrible storm of 2001. The family escaped unhurt, but I believe the house has been abandoned since then.
From the wide forest track, we continued up tarmac lanes and then more forest tracks. At a wide junction, we met a very cute little Yorkshire Terrier who was with a chap who was working in the forest with his van. The Yorkie,wearing a little high viz jacket, bounced over to say hello, but obediently returned to his owner and didn't try to follow us. Finally, we left the wide track and descended to the road back to the car park via narrow zigzag paths, some of which were doubling as a stream and some others were part of the mountain bike trails.