Named after the family that once owned it, the building is now a restaurant, but the park and ancient woodland are public spaces where we often like to lose ourselves amongst the trees. I sometimes wonder if I tread in the footsteps of Guy Fawkes and his fellow conspirators; they are thought to have planned the Gunpowder Plot here. There must be forment in Enfield’s air, only a couple of miles or so away is Eslynge Manor where Henry VIII planned the restoration. Reading David Pam’s Histories of Enfield, I was struck as to how unruly and unlawful the citizens were!
Anyway, á nos moutons! We wanted to feed the ducks as there had been reports that they had been seen on driveways and in Enfield away from the water, perhaps because people had stopped feeding them bread and they were hungry.
Were they indeed! when we cast bread on the waters of the lake they actually turned their backs on us and glided away.
In fact there were very few ducks and just one moorhen who was mildly interested and ate two piece before it too turned its back on us and swum away.
Enfield council have put tape and, sometimes, netting on the benches and seats in the borough in order to discourage group sitting, however I think that the nettles are more effective by the look of things!
We dodged on and off the path as people loomed in our way, as we walked round to the other side of the lake to see if there was a sunbathing turtle. We were excited to see what I thought was a red water lily but of course, it was a rhododendron flower that had dropped into the water.
Still, an aspiring lily can be beautiful.
There was a turtle sunning itself but I managed to lose it behind a hanging leave as I was concentrating on the not-so-distant socialising on the bench we had walked passed; not the one pierced by nettles.
It’s not often I can get close to a horse chestnut blossom.
There was a low hanging branch by the lake. They are very complex, almost Victorian, flowers, quite beautiful.
We decided to walk down the main path towards the golf course. It looked stunning. Woods are so beautiful and some views are just, well, magnificent.
After five minutes or so, we had to walk away from the path as people approached, though we had our fetching masks on, we wanted to distance our selves and, of course, be alone in the woods.
I find it fascinating that two trees seem to join, become one.
Walking back to the car, we came across a fallen tree that was still sending up branches. Trees are tough but also receive help in the way of nutrient from surrounding trees through the underground network of roots and fungus. I am always amazed at how big trees are when they are lying on the ground.
For along time fallen and lopped wood has been left to encourage insects and flora, little animals. Stag beetles are a favourite with their impossible flight. Once in France walking back to the house, we were surrounded by a huge cloud of stag beetles in staggering flight. It was an amazing sight. I would love to witness it again. Though they clouded around us none touched us.
We discussed the memory and went home.