Monday, June 23, 2008

Hurt No Living Thing

By Christina Rossetti

Hurt no living thing:

Ladybird, nor butterfly,

Nor moth with dusty wing,

Nor cricket chirping cheerily,

Nor grasshopper so light of leap,

Nor dancing gnat, nor beetle fat,

Nor harmless worms that creep.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

King Arthur

When good King Arthur ruled the land,

He was a goodly king:

He stole three pecks of barley meal,

To make a bag-pudding.

A bag-pudding the king did make,

And stuffed it well with plums;

And in it put great lumps of fat,

As big as my two thumbs.

The king and queen did eat thereof,

And noblemen beside;

And what they could not eat that night,

The queen next morning fried.


Monday, June 9, 2008

Soudley Ponds

Wow! Wasn’t yesterday fun!

It’s about time we had a bit of sun, isn’t it?

I went back to my sock drawer for a couple of weeks, the weather was so miserable.

Yesterday, I was out in the Forest. It was beautiful.

Down by the ponds the Damselflies and Dragonflies were out and about.

We are so lucky to be so close to the Forest.

I'm off to Soudley Ponds again today – see you there!



Sunday, June 8, 2008

The Vision

by Vivienne Corby

One day, just at sunset, we came to a hill,

The three of us, me, little Judith, and Bill,

And we saw such a wonderful sight, we three,

That it seemed like a marvellous dream to me.

For there on the grass, in the shade of the trees,

Were hundreds of fairies who danced in the breeze;

And how their wings shone in the fast sinking sun!

We wanted to kiss them, yes, every one.

And then Billy sneezed, and they all flew away.

But still we are hoping to this very day

That we’ll see them again, on top of the hill,

The three of us, me, little Judith, and Bill.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

The Ride-by-Nights

by Walter de la Mare (1873-1956)

Up on their brooms the Witches stream,

Crooked and black in the crescent’s gleam;

One foot high, and one foot low,

Bearded, cloaked, and cowled, they go.

‘Neath Charlie’s Wain they twitter and tweet,

And away they swarm ‘neath the Dragon’s feet.

With a whoop and a flutter they swing and sway,

And surge pell-mell down the Milky-Way.

Betwixt the legs of the glittering Chair

They hover and squeak in the empty air.

Then round they swoop past the glimmering Lion

To where Sirius barks behind huge Orion;

Up, then, and over to wheel amain,

Under the silver, and home again.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Oxfordshire Children’s May Song

Country Rhyme

Spring is coming, spring is coming

Birdies, build your nest;

Weave together straw and feather,

Doing each your best.

Spring is coming, spring is coming

Flowers are coming too:

Pansies, lilies, daffodillies,

Now are coming through.

Spring is coming, spring is coming

All around is fair;

Shimmer and quiver on the river,

Joy is everywhere.

We wish you a happy May.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Old Shellover

by Walter de la Mare (1873-1956)

“Come!” said Old Shellover.

“What?” says Creep.

“The horny old Gardener’s fast asleep;

The fat cock Thrush

To his nest has gone,

And the dew shines bright

In the rising Moon;

Old Sallie Worm from her hole doth peep;

Come!” said Old Shellover

“Ay!” said Creep.

Bowsie Awakes


Boddington: Ahh I see you have woken my friend.

Bowsie: Yes, I have. How’s bluebell?

Boddington: Fine, fine.

(Bluebell appears)

Bluebell: Oh hello Bowsie. I thought you were awake!!!!!!!!!!!

Bowsie is Awake!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Welcome Back Bowsie

Written by Ellie

Saturday, April 26, 2008

A Child’s Poem

by Robert Bridges (1844-1930)

Look! Look! The spring is come :

O feel the gentle air,

That wanders thro’ the boughs to burst

The thick buds everywhere !

The birds are glad to see

The high unclouded sun :

Winter is fled away, they sing,

The gay time is begun.

Adown the meadows green

Let us go dance and play,

And look for violets in the lane,

And ramble far away

To gather primroses,

That in the woodland grow,

And hunt for oxslips, or if yet

The blades of blue bells show :

There the old woodman gruff

Hath half the coppice cut,

And weaves the hurdles all day long

Beside his willow hut.

We’ll steal on him, and then

Startle him, all with glee

Singing our song of winter fled

And summer soon to be.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Whoopee!! I'm awake!!!

Hi Everybody!

I'm awake. It's a little early for me but it was warmer last week.

Today it's freezing.

Perhaps you saw me Saturday? I was out walking in the Wet Wood near Boys Grave.

It was VERY WET. I nearly fell into a puddle a couple of times.

I had a cup of tea with Bonnington and Boddington yesterday. They said they have enjoyed looking after my blog, but they got a bit tired towards the end!

Well I hope I can stay awak, because Im looking forward to som new adventures!



Saturday, April 5, 2008

Alms in Autumn

by Rose Fyleman (1877-1957)

Spindle-wood, spindle-wood, will you lend me, pray,
A little flaming lantern to light me on my way?
The fairy folk have vanished from the meadow and the glen,
And I would fain go seeking till I find them once again;
Lend me now a lantern that I may bear a light
To show the hidden pathway in the darkness of the night.

Ash tree, ash tree, throw me, if you please,
Throw me down a slender bunch of russet-gold keys;
I fear the gates of fairyland may all be shut fast;
Give me of your magic keys that I may get past;
I’ll tie them to my girdle, that as I go along
My heart may find a comfort in their tiny tinkling song.

Holy bush, holly bush, help me in my task,
A pocket full of berries is all the alms I ask;
A pocket full of berries to thread in glowing strands
(I would not go a-visiting with nothing in my hands);
So fine will be the rosy chains, so gay, so glossy bright,
They’ll set the realms of fairyland a-dancing with delight.

Monday, February 18, 2008

(12) The Night Watch

Bonnington and Boddington are doing the night watch. They are happy with that. It is their best time of day. Their eyesight is perfectly adapted for seeing things in the dark. Their sense of smell gives them an early warning of anything untoward.

Bonnington and Boddington are very brave badgers. They are afraid of nothing… but tonight is not like any other night.

‘If we see the litter louts, should we say anything?’ says Bonnington

‘No! Bowsie asked us to watch what they do and find out who they are’ said Boddington.

‘Find out who they are? They are the Tall People like Emma and Jane only very naughty.’ said Bonnington.

‘That’s right.’ said Boddington.

‘I’m confused now,’ said Bonnington, ‘let’s have a nice cup of tea!’
‘We are two miles away from the sett. How can we have a cup of tea?’

‘Emma lent me a special bottle for keeping tea hot, called a “Thermos”, look.’ and with that Bonnington poured two cups of strong tea.

‘Two sugars, please!’ said Boddington.

‘Hmmmmm! Hmmmm!’ said Bonnington and Boddington together.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Bowsie's Forest of Dean Adventure (part eleven)

Bowsie and his friends have decided to set up a 24 hour watch for litter louts. They are all very excited.

They trotted down to the Cannop Ponds and walked along the path towards the stone works.

(this is a view of Cannop Pond from The Stone works)

They were shocked by the amount of rubbish that had been left along the bank. There were lots of beer cans, plastic bottle, cigarette packets and even supermarket bags full of rubbish tied to trees!

‘Oh! This is terrible!’ said Bowsie, ‘I didn’t realize it was this bad.’

‘Please be careful. It would be so easy to cut your feet.’

‘It’s not a very pleasant place to bring children.’

‘Or Grannies!’ said Emma and Jane.

‘This is the place to watch.’ said Bowsie.

‘We’ll have to have a rota. Who wants to do the night watch?’

‘We’ll do the night watch.’ said Bonnington and Boddington together, ‘we’ll be awake anyway.’

‘Me too.’ said Bluebell.

‘We’ll do some of the day watch.’ said Emma and Jane together.

‘I’ll fill in the gaps with some Forest friends.’ said Bowsie.

‘Let’s get together on Saturday to discuss our findings.’

‘Anyone for a cuppa!’ said Bonnington.

‘I thought you’d never ask!’ said Boddington.

So they all went back to Bonnington and Boddington’s sett for a nice cup of tea. They were all very excited about the adventure and little bit frightened too.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Coal Seams

Boys Grave and Cannop Ponds Forest Trail

Stop 6 – Coal

You are standing in front of an outcrop of shaley Pennant sandstone and thin bands of coal. Look at the diagram notice how numerous coal seams of the ’Crow Delf’ series, tilt and come to the surface (‘outcrop’) between here and Cannop Ponds.

This particular outcrop is thin and unworkable so has not earned itself a name, but it lies between two much thicker bands of coal called ‘Starkey’ and ‘Rockey’, both of which have been mined extensively.

When you move on you will see across the stream grey, clay coal waste tips which are now tree covered, evidence that ‘freeminers’ of the Forest once worked here, mining the ‘Starkey’ seam.

Other seams you will cross have romantic sounding names like ‘Breadless’, ‘No Coal’, ‘Bry’, ‘Twenty Inch’, and ‘Little’, names that almost tell a story in themselves. Can you imagine what heartbreaks ‘Breadless’ caused before it earned such a name?

All these coal seams were formed 300 million years ago by plants in shallow lakes dying and accumulating as peat; this is compressed, as sand is piled on top, and eventually fossilizes into coal. You can almost see the plants have been laid down in layers with the occasional washing over them of sand laden rivers.

Follow along by the Stream

The path goes through a mixed oak wood. The leaves decay quickly and give a rich humus to the soil which enables many small animals to live in it. You are approaching the main part of the circular valley round the Forest, where most of the important coal seams are found, and the stream crosses these every few yards. If you look carefully, you will see traces of some coal seams mentioned above in the banks.

Brambles are common. The thorns they carry are to help them clamber over the brushwood, not just to hurt people.

The stream you have been following is called the Mersiche Brook, and odd name, probably from the Anglo-Saxon meaning ‘boundary stream’.

It has many meanders here, which is typical of a stream flowing over a fairly flat floor to a valley.


This text was written by B. V. Cave of the Wilderness Wildlife Centre Mitcheldean and M.J. Dunn, Forest Warden, for the Forestry Commission 'Boy's Grave and Forest Trail'. © 1974


Sunday, January 6, 2008

Bowsie's Forest of Dean Adventure (part ten)

Bowsie and all his friends were relaxing by the small pool.

Bonnington and Boddington were sipping tea.

Emma and Jane had Lemonade.

The Blue Fairy was drinking nectar from a buttercup.

Bowsie was trying to relax, but he had a question nagging him. He turned to the others and said, ‘Why has the litter problem got so bad recently?’

‘We’ve always had a problem,’ said Boddington, ‘but it seems to have got a lot worse.’

‘Especially around the ponds.’ said Bluebell.

Bonnington rubbed his nose gently, ‘When I was in the hospital, everybody was talking about it!’

‘It was so sad to see all those injured animals.’ said Emma and Jane together.

‘The cigarette burns are the worst. I wouldn’t like one of those!’ said Bonnington.

‘Where did you get that metal thing from in the first place?’ asked Bowsie.

‘Down by the large ponds a bit further down the path.’ said Bonnington.

‘I know what we’ll do!’ said Bowsie jumping up suddenly.

‘What!?!’ asked every body at the same time.

‘We’ll keep a watch and see who is leaving all this rubbish’.

‘Wow! Spy on the Litter Louts! You ARE BRAVE BOWSIE!’ said Bonnington, spilling his tea.

‘We know that! ‘ said Emma and Jane together.