Thursday, 22 September 2011

Summer Time

William Willett memorial in Petts Wood.  21 September 2011.
William Willett memorial in Petts Wood.  21 September 2011.
Today, 21st September, the National Trust warden of the Petts Wood and Hawkwood Estate showed a group of people around Petts Wood. This was organised by the Friends of Jubilee Country Park.

It was an overcast, drizzly and generally wet morning. But this did not stop a group of 18 people following the warden, Sam Pettman, as he showed us how the woods were being managed.

There were many features in common with other woods and ancent woodland in the area. Old pollarded oaks ranged along one ditch-and-bank border. Some areas had been scraped down to the underlying Blackheath gravel bed and returned to the original heath.

William Willett memorial sundial in Petts Wood.  21 September 2011.
When this was a private estate, Rhododendrons had been planted as cover for game birds, and had choked and crowded much of the wood. But we saw hardly any of this, only one ornamental array; a great deal of work had been done to eradicate it, and there were many light and airy pathways as a result. The clearing shown above (with Sam Pettman speaking) had been thick with Rhododendrons at one time, and overshadowed by three large Sweet Chestnut trees, all now removed so that the memorial sundial could once again tell the time.

I do like this sundial, which shows British Summer Time (when the sun is shining, of course). The monument makes clear why; it says "THIS WOOD WAS PURCHASED BY PUBLIC SUBSCRIPTION AS A TRIBUTE TO THE MEMORY OF WILLIAM WILLETT THE UNTIRING ADVOCATE OF "SUMMER TIME" and lower down: ERECTED 1927. The sundial on the other side is inscribed "HORAS NON NUMERO NISI AESTIVAS". The helpful Google Translate tells us that this means "Summer camp is not only at the hourly," but I think it is actually telling us that it does not show the time unless it is Summer.

By the path as we headed back out was this showy fungus, Amanita muscaria, Fly Agaric. It is poisonous to people, but slugs love it.

Fly Agaric, Amanita muscaria, by the path through Petts Wood.  21 September 2011.
Fly Agaric, Amanita muscaria, by the path through Petts Wood.  21 September 2011.

1 comment:

  1. You surely got the translation right. How google translate came up with theirs I cannot imagine.
    That Fly Agaric is remarkable. It looks like show-window pork chops. I never saw anything like it.