Thursday, December 19, 2013
Exploring Stanmer Park
From E. F. Benson's descriptions in The Blotting Book, I imagined a small park adjacent to Falmer Train Station, surrounded by a wooden picket fence. We spent a good hour exploring the nearby Stanmer Park, and probably only saw a small portion of it.
It's got wide open expanses, full of room to walk and explore. It amazed me, with how cold and windy it was, how many people were out walking, pushing baby carriages, playing with their children, or exercising their dogs. Stands of trees share the land with vibrant grass, allowing the visitor a measure of privacy.
Spoiler alert! If you have not yet read E. F. Benson's novel, and my descriptions have aroused your curiosity to a fever pitch, you may wish to skip the next paragraph!
In The Blotting Book, after Godfrey Mills' absence can no longer be explained, his partner Edward Taynton files a missing person report with the police, and an inspector is assigned to investigate. Eventually Mills' body is found in Stanmer Park, lying amid the coppiced trees. In my wanderings, I saw no examples of coppicing, a traditional method of harvesting trees in which mature trees are cut down, new shoots allowed to rise from the trunk, grown to maturity, and then harvested in an apparently stable and renewable pattern. So perhaps coppicing is no longer practiced in this area of England. Then again, I found no bodies among the trees either, so that was a plus.
I saw numerous examples of how the park proves useful to the nearby universities,
and to local farmers as well.
I even met a few colorful characters along the way. But then, you never know what you'll find, until you follow your interests, get out there, and explore.
And no, in case you're wondering, this dragon doesn't eat sheep. Well, at least not cute ones, anyway.
Related Dragon Cache entries
The Story of Herbert the Lamb