So said the forecast for the area today, and it was certainly chilly at the Knoll, where the whole snowy carpet was covered in animal tracks. Was it a mass of creatures stampeding about or a single rabbit trying to look busy? A great place to improve tracking skills, should we get another suitable dump of the white stuff.
Further afield (actually Hither Field), there was a cutting easterly wind that made it feel even colder.
As the snow reluctantly disappears, Barn Field's slopes are no longer hosting sledge runs. Some of these unfortunately ended abruptly in our Kidney Vetch patch, flattening half the protective fencing and pulling out the posts. The fallen noticeboard had to be removed as there was no way of renewing its hole in the frozen ground.
Another job for the spring!
Massed tracks in the Knoll.
Braking point for sledges; breaking point for our fence.
Something is missing in the world of Narnia. Or at least in the Banstead Wood Narnia Trail, where one of the iconic wood sculptures, Lucy and the Lamp-post, is no longer to be seen near Holly Lane car park.
It may have been the victim of the weather or a merciful chain saw, or perhaps darker forces are at work. In a case of life spookily imitating art, in the last days of Narnia the magical Lamp-post disappeared in Lantern Waste. This can now be revealed as the Council's compound at Park Farm, where the sculpture has re-appeared. But where's Lucy? Suspicion must fall on the evil Ice Queen or a disgruntled dog owner. The Lamp-post was always too high off the ground.
All that remains of the Lamp-post at Holly Lane.
The Lamp-post with Lucy in better days.
Resting place at Park Farm. Was the Ice Queen (right) responsible?
Is that a knowing look?.
Another character in the Wood: an ancient oak surviving its winter enchantment. Find it at what3words: abode.branch.soccer.
In the bleak mid-winter Frosty wind made moan; Earth stood hard as iron, Water like a stone.
The old carol provides the perfect description of the winter weather that has solidified the Lagoon, with a dusting of snow brightening the bare chalk sides. After the high levels caused by exceptional winter rain, the water has receded to just over knee deep, revealing the surrounding path, the snow bearing no tracks except my own. The ice surface is a tad slushy: ice dancing not recommended.
A large part of the Bulrush clump was removed last autumn but new shoots have already started to appear closer to the water's edge. Along with the overgrown shallow end and the surrounding wildflower area, there'll be plenty to keep us busy when the lockdown and the weather lifts!
The Bulrushes won't be an island for long, with new growth poking through the ice.
Lagoon from the shallow end. A little clearance work needed!
We are a self-funded group of volunteers looking after our local countryside in Banstead Wood and Chipstead Valley. We extend a warm welcome to those who would like to help maintain this important green space for the benefit of everyone. Here you will find details of WoodChips weekly tasks and activities. Check back soon to see what we're up to!