25th AGM of Friends of Hillhouse Wood

25th AGM - images from the wood25th AGM of Friends of Hillhouse Wood

The 25th AGM of the Friends of Hillhouse Wood is on Wednesday 11th December 2019.  Starting in the Orpen Hall at 7.30 pm, refreshments will be served from 7.00 pm.  The Friends will welcome members and non-members alike.


Following the conclusion of formal business, there will be a talk given by John More, Essex Wildlife Trust’s Living Landscapes Co-ordinator.

2019 Walks

2019 has seen 4 organised walks; some snippets and links to the full articles are shown below:

March – Un-wintry Winter Walk which “blew the cobwebs away”

The 2019 Hillhouse Wood Winter Birds walk probably falls foul of the Trade Descriptions Act on at least two counts. Firstly, the weather conditions and bird behaviour encountered were hardly ‘winter-like’; secondly, at times a more accurate description of what we saw and heard would be the ‘high-speed Springer spaniel and dog whistle walk’.

The fact that we had chosen the day that Storm Freya passed through, accompanied by apocalyptical weather forecasts, hardly encouraged participation.

Read the full article here.

Wodland flowers to see on Spring Nature Walk

April – Spring Flower Walk with Storm Hannah

This year produced something a bit different – as I was nearly blown over at one point (with only a slight exaggeration for dramatic effect).  As luck would have it Storm Hannah chose that afternoon to blow some cobwebs away.

Despite the ‘challenging’ forecast I was pleased and relieved to see 22 people assemble for ‘the off’.  The graveyard and adjacent track hold a varied display of flowers, each with a story to tell.  I was able to show the group 13 species before we had walked 30 yards.

Read the full article here.

May – Dawn Chorus Walk with Waves of Song

Waves of song greeted the small group on the annual Dawn Chorus Walk led by Steve Hallam.  His account of the walk started with…

On the morning of 18th May, the population of West Bergholt could be divided into two groups:

  • the eight people who came on this year’s Dawn Chorus walk, and
  • those who had made a mistake.

This was one of the best ‘shows’ since I have been leading these walks (and this was nothing to do with me!), as I will explain.

Read the full article here.

October – Autumn Fruits in the Rain

It appears in recent years, that the Autumn Fruits Walk tends to act as a magnet to rain.  This year was no exception.  However, the weather forecast gave plenty of warning and so the 7 participants came prepared.

As for the walk itself, we again saw how the presence, location and abundance of plants vary from year to year.

Read the full article here.