Sequoia National Park is one of my favourite places in the world. The giant trees are the biggest and some of the oldest living things on Earth, and my attempts to convey their colossal size were scuppered by my limited photographic skills.
If you’ve never been to this beautiful National Park in the high Sierras of California, I couldn’t recommend it more highly, it is absolutely stunningly beautiful.
This is General Sherman, the biggest living thing on the planet. Take it from me it is a giant of breathtaking proportions and truly awe inspiring. The light in these mountains is wonderful, and the air is thick with the pungent smell of pine. Walking amongst these great trees is something I’ll never forget.
Or at least that is how this particular woodland feels. Nestled on the crags and ledges of a remote North Wales valley but quite close to the sea, a walk, or scramble, through this wood takes you into a different world that works on a different timescale to the rest of us.
Centuries of timber harvesting, grazing by upland sheep and feral goats, and mining for manganese have shaped this wood. Boulders are covered in carpets of mosses, liverworts, lichens and ferns because this is essentially the temperate rainforest, with high humidity and (relative) warmth and grazing by the wild goats has kept the under-story open, which the lichens and mosses love.
This is how we’re trying to keep the wild goats out. If we don’t they’ll eat and strip all of the saplings and young trees, and the woodland will never regenerate. But they still manage to get in…
And the remains of past lives can be seen in the wood. Sheep pens, boundary walls and mine entrances…