Category Archives: The Beechwoods

The Beechwoods is a rare piece of mature beech woodland on the southern outskirts of Cambridge. It is a vantage point from which to observe and reflect on the seemingly inexorable expansion of the high-tech City.

Beechwoods Extension 2

I commented on the differences between the new and mature woods in my post on the 4th June .  Apart from the size of the trees, the most distinctive difference now is between openness and enclosure.  The mature woods have … Continue reading

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Beechwoods Extension

The newness of the westward expansion of the Beechwoods gives it a very different character to the mature woods.  How different will it eventually be? This five hectare wood was planted in 1992 to improve the environment for wildlife and … Continue reading

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Beechwoods Setting 2

On 9th April 2017 I posted two colour pictures, ‘Beechwoods Setting’, trying to show the context within which the woods are set.  They put the woods in the middle distance and show the contrast between the massing of the trees … Continue reading

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Beechwoods – Patterns

Alex Schneideman explores the importance of patterns in his ‘Thinking Photography’ feature in the May 2017 issue of Black+White Photography.  He defines patterns in three ways: as repeating graphic shapes; as related to an order or system; and as a … Continue reading

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Beechwoods Carvings

The lives marked in the beech bark are usually reduced to initials, dates and a runic symbol of love (see post 23/9/16).  They are enigmatic.  This is no less so.  Who was Harvey, why and when was he here and … Continue reading

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Beechwoods Regeneration

Beech woodland is shady and often characterised by a dense carpet of fallen leaves and mast husks, which prevent most woodland plants from growing.  Young beeches prefer some shade and may grow poorly in full sunlight, however. In the Beechwoods … Continue reading

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Beechwood Roots

The beech usually grows on drier, free-draining soils, such as chalk, limestone and light loams. The root system is shallow, even superficial, with large roots spreading out in all directions.  This makes trees susceptible to drought and high winds.  In the … Continue reading

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Beechwoods Boles – Elephant Tree

‘Old trees: hugely domed, usually much branched; occasional survivors of the fellings of two wars with 15-20m straight, cylindrical bole’, is how The Field Guide describes the common beech.   Some of the trees in the Beechwoods fit the first description.  … Continue reading

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Beechwoods – Spring Leaves

The trees in the Beechwoods are coming into leaf, but in a strangely erratic way.  Many are almost devoid of leaves and retain their winter tracery of bare branches.  At the other extreme a few have dense crowns of green … Continue reading

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Beechwoods – Cambridge Edge

Two little structures sit in a field of beans (or peas) on the edge of Cambridge.  Hides for shooters protecting the crop from the hungry pigeons.  ‘Hide’, the perfect use of a verb as a noun; in America a ‘blind’, … Continue reading

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Beechwoods Setting

A disturbed night.  Then the day dawned bright and clear and I decided to visit the Beechwoods to re-energise myself.  I wanted to try to photograph the woods in their landscape setting.  This was not easy.  The topography is gently … Continue reading

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Beechwoods – Beech Fagus sylvatica

Native to S. E. and Midland England. …. Dominant and climax tree on chalk and some well-drained sands.  Much planted in policies, woods, gardens and parks in all parts.  Frequent in shelter-belts, especially in s. Scotland, also as garden-hedges.  Old … Continue reading

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Beechwoods Bark

I’m using photography as the main medium for the Beechwoods project.  I also want to see how other media can help to visualise the woods – posts in November 2016 and March 2017 used scans of leaves and recently I … Continue reading

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Beechwoods – Past & Present

In the third part of his history of photography in Britain Eamonn McCabe looked at the work of Mishka Henner.  Henner is a Belgian artist whose work reflects the concerns of photographic artists in the internet age. ‘He has been … Continue reading

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Beechwoods – Spring

After a very early breakfast this morning I watched the third part of Eamonn McCabe’s history of photography in Britain (BBC4).  It has been an excellent series, striking a perceptive balance between the social, personal, creative and technical lenses through … Continue reading

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