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Woodland Red Flower Magic

Hidden in plain sight, the small red flower magic of the hazel.  

It’s a familiar sight to walk through the local woodland at this time of year and see the old hazel coppice that has now been left to grow wild decorated in catkins. Each catkin is made up of around 240 small individual flowers releasing fine clouds of pollen into the air. A sign spring is not too far away.
Go back to the height of last summer. One very hot long sunny day at the Green Gathering I found myself sat in a tent decked out as the most chilled out cinema you could ever imagine. Whilst watching a permaculture road trip documentary called “we the uncivilised” my mind went racing back to winter and our local hazel coppice. As I watched the film I became determined that this year when the hazel came into flower I would head out in search of the red female flower of the hazel. A flower I didn’t know existed until it was shown in the film.
It’s hard to believe after all these years both walking and working in the woods I’ve never noticed any red flowers on the hazel.
As I ventured out with the daylight once again growing longer, it didn’t take me very long to discover these small red flowers growing all over all the hazel. Such a wonderful reminder that we can walk the same paths year after year but sometimes need a little help to see what is directly in front of us.
A true moment of gratitude to Lily and Pete, the creators of the documentary “we the uncivilised” for showing me something I’ve looked at but never seen before. The documentary is a whole woodland full of insights that have made me stop and think about many other things in my life.
Who would have thought a couple of hours in a tent watching a film would have left such a large impact on how I now observe things.

Red Woodland Magic 

The red female hazel flower
The red female hazel flower
The red female hazel flower
The red female hazel flower
To watch the documentary visit https://wetheuncivilised.org/
To learn more about coppicing, Ben Laws Book The Woodland Way is a great resource for tradition woodland management  
For more information on permaculture visit the permaculture association https://www.permaculture.org.uk 

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