In the Bark of a Tree

Countryside in the City

Bristol has been named European Green Capital 2015 for a reason- it’s environmentally forward thinking; a city full of wildlife and natural colour. The RWA in Bristol reflected this green glory creatively, with their winter exhibition ‘Arboretum’. Continuing the longstanding relationship that art has with nature, the work shown embodied stories of environmental issues and natural beauty – all with trees as the core subject.

The variety of trees in Bristol parks, streets and in residential gardens is awesome. Although the trees are mostly standing bare at the moment, I still find that each tree has endless photographic appeal. I love getting up close to examine the textures, shapes and range of colours that are ever evolving.

branches of a tree

Callington Road Local Nature Reserve, Brislington

The details in the bark of a birch tree is what captured my eye during a visit to Callington Road Nature Reserve. When this land in Brislington was truly nurtured around 2009, plenty of young indigenous trees were planted. Now, more than 5 years on, these birches are still growing tall and providing hints of the countryside within our nature strewn city.

Patterned bark

Countryside in the City

I’ve been exploring more of Bristol’s less known spots in the first few weeks of 2015.  Even during these frosty January days I’m loving the weekend rambling opportunities (of course the bright, clear, sunny days have helped!).

I’ve always felt comfortable outside in nature, exploring the woods, tramping around on a farm or looking for wildlife along cliffs. Our decision to live in Bristol was made easier by the countryside we would be surrounded by. I don’t think I realised, though, quite how much adventure we would have on our doorstep- from city events, museums and great food, to the parks, nature reserves, woodlands and fields of this green city.

After last weekend‘s muddy wonder beneath the trees and now another afternoon of wild discoveries, I’ve decided to make this a little feature here on my blog. For now, let’s call it ‘Countryside in the City’.

Warmley Forest Park

This weekend we ventured just outside of the ring road, passed Kingswood and into Warmley. There, we spotted a sign for a footpath, stepped through a gate and just 5 minutes later found ourselves a million miles away from the streets we left behind.



Warmley Forest Park is green, varied and curious, made up of young woodland and open space with the Siston Brook meandering through. First we walked along the brook and gazed at the fields stretching out beyond. Every time I see the rugged nature and country landscapes that are on our doorstep, it’s enchanting.

Warmley-Forest-Park-Tree   Warmley-Forest-Park-Sky

The rest of the site offers pathways through grassy parkland and beneath tall trees- at this time of year you’re unlikely to avoid fresh mud underfoot! I’m sure in the Summer the flora demands a second look and maybe the terrain is more suitable for picnics… we’ll definitely venture back to find out.


A Walk Beneath the Trees

Eastwood Farm Nature Reserve

Countryside in the City

Exploring Eastwood Farm Nature Reserve in South Bristol

Sunday brought blue skies, still air and low Winter sun. The perfect day for an explore!

Bristol is great for discovering little bits of nature amongst urban city life. Eastwood Farm in Brislington is a spot of countryside wonder in the south of the city. Home to trees, fields, small bodies of water and rambling opportunities, the nature reserve / farm land is open for everyone to visit.

As I made my way beneath the branches and through muddy paths I enjoyed the peace and quiet of a Winter walk alone. Only the bird’s songs and scurrying of hidden feet surrounded me. It was the perfect Sunday adventure.

Eastwood Farm Nature Reserve

Eastwood Farm Nature Reserve

Eastwood Farm Nature Reserve

Eastwood Farm Nature Reserve