There Is Something In The Woods

maximus otter

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To be honest, I often walk though a very small strip of woodland that borders one of the fields and forms a boundary to a bridleway. I've heard a noise that sounds like a deer or large mammal scratting about in the leaf mulch and stopped to look, only to find it's a blackbird turning over the dead leaves in search of food.

If there were lots of dry leaves underfoot, then something smallish can make a LOT more noise than you would ever think feasible.

Even small animals can produce a deceptive amount of noise, causing fear among - er - me.

maximus otter
 

Paul_Exeter

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Even small animals can produce a deceptive amount of noise, causing fear among - er - me.

maximus otter
Squirrels can sound like a Bigfoot crashing through the undergrowth

Essentially, the more noise a wild animal makes the less it fears a predator and/or doesn’t have to catch other animals
 

Erinaceus

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Something like a badger would be strong and low enough to push through tall ferns without being visible. Although they're usually nocturnal I once saw one at fairly close quarters in a field about an hour and half after sunrise. Foxes move with their heads low as well and are more llikely to be out in daytime.
 

catseye

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Something like a badger would be strong and low enough to push through tall ferns without being visible. Although they're usually nocturnal I once saw one at fairly close quarters in a field about an hour and half after sunrise. Foxes move with their heads low as well and are more llikely to be out in daytime.
Even a dog - spaniels out with their noses to the ground are often invisible in low undergrowth. And I agree about the badgers. They will wander about making no end of noise and giving absolutely no fucks about being seeing or heard. They are like the armoured tank division of the British mammalian world.
 

Spookdaddy

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I've always loved the woods. As a child I always wanted to own a bit of woodland - but then I think I was probably a bit odd.

I can't say I've ever felt any inexplicable frisson of fear in woodland, but I can see how it might easily happen. The timber below Gardom's Edge, and also Monk's Dale in the Peak District are two places that have always felt somewhat otherworldly. Also, the rather tautologically named Forest Wood around Lud's Church.

As Catseye has suggested, I suspect that our evolutionary history means that we're all only really a whisper away from flight mode in such environments.

On a slight aside - I once, many years ago, bivvied in the Black Wood of Rannoch. It wasn't the silence that got to me - quite the opposite, in fact. It sounded like an army were marching backwards and forwards through the trees. One of the noisiest night's I've ever experienced.

Some of the deepest, darkest woods I've come across were in Galicia and the Basque country of northern Spain. They really did look like brooding leviathans at night - pitch black and glowering over the villages, as if waiting to pour in when everyone is asleep. I think the atmosphere is partly emphasised by the fact that people don't really seem to use the countryside in the same way as we do in the UK (and it's generally less populated anyway) - so much of it seems utterly pathless and inaccessible, even when relatively close to human habitation.

And the Basques have their own bigfoot - Basajaun; utter nonsense of course, until you're up there on your own at night - and then definitely hiding behind a bloody big tree.
 
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SimonBurchell

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I've always loved the woods. As a child I always wanted to own a bit of woodland - but then I think I was probably a bit odd.

I can't say I've ever felt any inexplicable frisson of fear in woodland, but I can see how it might easily happen. The timber below Gardom's Edge, and also Monk's Dale in the Peak District are two places that have always felt somewhat otherworldly. Also, the rather tautologically named Forest Wood around Lud's Church.

As Catseye has suggested, I suspect that our evolutionary history means that we're all only really a whisper away from flight mode in such environments.

On a slight aside - I once, many years ago, bivvied in the Black Wood of Rannoch. It wasn't the silence that got to me - quite the opposite, in fact. It sounded like an army were marching backwards and forwards through the trees. One of the noisiest night's I've ever experienced.

Some of the deepest, darkest woods I've come across were in Galicia and the Basque country of northern Spain. They really did look like brooding leviathans at night - pitch black and glowering over the villages, as if waiting to pour in when everyone is asleep. I think the atmosphere is partly emphasised by the fact that people don't really seem to use the countryside in the same way as we do in the UK (and it's generally less populated anyway) - so much of it seems utterly pathless and inaccessible, even when relatively close to human habitation.

And the Basques have their own bigfoot - Basajaun; utter nonsense of course, until you're up there on your own at night - and then definitely hiding behind a bloody big tree.
I agree with all that. 22 years ago I had the immense pleasure of being sat upon an overgrown Maya pyramid, a 2-3 day hike from the nearest jungle hamlet through dense rainforest in northern Guatemala. There were a few custodians living in the ruins, hired to keep the undergrowth at bay ready for an archaeological team, and my guide was also camped there, a young man from the nearest hamlet. However, I had gone up this pyramid alone, to watch the sunset over the vast forest plain, aware that as far as I could see in all directions to the far horizon, there were no human settlements - and also aware that, with the rate of deforestation, it wouldn't be that way for long (I don't think it would be the same now, I think logging and cattle ranching will have encroached upon the horizon by now). It was a truly stunning sunset, and then it went dark... and the fear came down like a solid mass. Suddenly I was acutely aware that I was sat upon a 2000-year old ancient temple, right where the priests used to sacrifice people, in the absolute dark, days from civilisation, and there seemed to be some lurking menace under the trees on the sides of the pyramid, quite separate from any wildlife (snakes, jaguars, whatever). I scarpered back to the camp, a couple of hundred yards off, pretty damned quick.
 

Paul_Exeter

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I've always loved the woods. As a child I always wanted to own a bit of woodland - but then I think I was probably a bit odd.

I can't say I've ever felt any inexplicable frisson of fear in woodland, but I can see how it might easily happen. The timber below Gardom's Edge, and also Monk's Dale in the Peak District are two places that have always felt somewhat otherworldly. Also, the rather tautologically named Forest Wood around Lud's Church.

As Catseye has suggested, I suspect that our evolutionary history means that we're all only really a whisper away from flight mode in such environments.

On a slight aside - I once, many years ago, bivvied in the Black Wood of Rannoch. It wasn't the silence that got to me - quite the opposite, in fact. It sounded like an army were marching backwards and forwards through the trees. One of the noisiest night's I've ever experienced.

Some of the deepest, darkest woods I've come across were in Galicia and the Basque country of northern Spain. They really did look like brooding leviathans at night - pitch black and glowering over the villages, as if waiting to pour in when everyone is asleep. I think the atmosphere is partly emphasised by the fact that people don't really seem to use the countryside in the same way as we do in the UK (and it's generally less populated anyway) - so much of it seems utterly pathless and inaccessible, even when relatively close to human habitation.

And the Basques have their own bigfoot - Basajaun; utter nonsense of course, until you're up there on your own at night - and then definitely hiding behind a bloody big tree.
At least one of the 'British Bigfoot' reports from some people camping overnight was almost certainly wild boar crashing around and nosing around the campsite for food
 

Bad Bungle

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And I agree about the badgers. They will wander about making no end of noise and giving absolutely no fucks about being seeing or heard. They are like the armoured tank division of the British mammalian world.
I once went out into the night in slippers to investigate a commotion in the side-porch and came within 2 feet of a badger. He was an adult (not a squished juvenile with no road sense), utterly fearless and about the size of a Shetland pony. He stared at me with a bemused look as I gingerly used a broom handle to extricated a galvanised watering-can so I could go back and get some sleep.
 

Trevp666

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What was a badger doing with a watering can?
 

catseye

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Investigating what was in it, under it and beside it - using the biggest fleshiest nose I've ever seen on a pony animal.
I'm guessing that under the watering can it was damp and dark. Badgers like slugs. I think badgers also eat hedgehogs, which like slugs.

I used to feed the cats in a stainless steel bowl on the front doorstep and would regularly be woken at night by hedgehogs either finishing up the catfood or turning the bowl over in search of slugs. It was quickly replaced with a quieter plastic bowl.
 

Spookdaddy

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...On a slight aside - I once, many years ago, bivvied in the Black Wood of Rannoch. It wasn't the silence that got to me - quite the opposite, in fact. It sounded like an army were marching backwards and forwards through the trees. One of the noisiest night's I've ever experienced....

A scene from the Black Wood of Rannoch. Taken on a more recent visit:

IMG_2863i.jpg


Some of the deepest, darkest woods I've come across were in Galicia and the Basque country of northern Spain.

I've always found woodland and forest scenes difficult to photograph - I can kind of never see the trees for the wood...for the trees, and I've always found it almost impossible to convey the actual atmosphere of the place. Turns out that, although I have lots of images of the areas mentioned, there are none that really picture the atmosphere of the woods and forests themselves. Oddly, the closest I can find is actually an image of Macclesfield Forest, taken a couple of early autumns ago, I think:


IMG_8687i.jpg
 

Trevp666

It was like that when I got here.........honest!!!
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Max is probably hiding somewhere there.
 

Coal

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A scene from the Black Wood of Rannoch. Taken on a more recent visit:

View attachment 59270



I've always found woodland and forest scenes difficult to photograph - I can kind of never see the trees for the wood...for the trees, and I've always found it almost impossible to convey the actual atmosphere of the place. Turns out that, although I have lots of images of the areas mentioned, there are none that really picture the atmosphere of the woods and forests themselves. Oddly, the closest I can find is actually an image of Macclesfield Forest, taken a couple of early autumns ago, I think:


View attachment 59271
Cracking pictures there @Spookdaddy
 

skinny

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I wonder if any of you forteans can connect with this.

Over the years I have always enjoyed woods and forests whether it be walks, mucking around with my kids or just being in nature as a change from city life.

But not all woods have the same feel.
Every environ has its essence. It's mostly smell, in my experience. But occasionally a supernatural feel messes with both the synapses and the skin follicles. Tingling, like.

I have one very special open woodland that I only share with very personal people. It's 546km north of me.
 

catseye

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A scene from the Black Wood of Rannoch. Taken on a more recent visit:

View attachment 59270



I've always found woodland and forest scenes difficult to photograph - I can kind of never see the trees for the wood...for the trees, and I've always found it almost impossible to convey the actual atmosphere of the place. Turns out that, although I have lots of images of the areas mentioned, there are none that really picture the atmosphere of the woods and forests themselves. Oddly, the closest I can find is actually an image of Macclesfield Forest, taken a couple of early autumns ago, I think:


View attachment 59271
I don't think it's just woods. Photographs very rarely capture the 'essence' of a place. I took loads at the Ring of Brodgar in May - the place was nearly deserted (weather was dreadful) and the walk along the Ness to Stenness was almost mystical. But the photos just show a very 'flat' view, some stones against a black sky. I think it's the 2D versus 3D thing. That extra dimension really helps to give character to views.
 

Erinaceus

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Every environ has its essence. It's mostly smell, in my experience.
I used to live on a private estate with a mixture of meadows, orchards and woodlands. I happily wandered all over the woodland but there was one small patch which always seemed damp with a lingering smell of decay and thick moss on the fallen trees. It's the only place where I've had a definite feeling of being in a liminal space.
 

Eyespy

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Erinaceous, there is a small ( about 10m wide by 15 m long) stretch of wood by the road where I walk dog at night. Its not particularly old or heavily wooded as there was a village hall there until late 60's, but it really gives me the creeps. Normally anything like this- bit of wood with climbable trees, old building, mysterious walls etc would be a magnet for kids, but you rarely see anyone in there.

Its a fairly busy road near a junction so not isolated, just gives off a vibe.
 

catseye

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Erinaceous, there is a small ( about 10m wide by 15 m long) stretch of wood by the road where I walk dog at night. Its not particularly old or heavily wooded as there was a village hall there until late 60's, but it really gives me the creeps. Normally anything like this- bit of wood with climbable trees, old building, mysterious walls etc would be a magnet for kids, but you rarely see anyone in there.

Its a fairly busy road near a junction so not isolated, just gives off a vibe.
Sounds very much like my copse. Does it give you the creeps during daytime, or only at night?
 

Damien

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There is an area of woodland on the outskirts of Sheffield (near Tankersley) Called "The Winterbottom Busks". my friend received a strange letter some years ago from a society calling itself "The sacred knights of the busks" (it had the look of a masonic secret society about it) The letter was probably sent to the wrong person as he didn't know what it was on about. It mentioned a night feast being held in the woods. Well, I remember a few weeks later me and him went up to the woods in mention, after a night at the pub. The woodland when we got there was very thick and had a lot of scrubland (very damp too) after walking a few hundred meters we came upon small clearing with several stones placed around the circumference, some that had strange markings carved onto them. there was also a dish that was hanging from a tree by a rope that was suspended in the center of the clearing. YUp there is definitely something in those woods
 
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maximus otter

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There is an area of woodland on the outskirts of Sheffield (near Tankersley) Called "The Winterbottom Busks". my friend received a strange letter some years ago from a society calling itself "The sacred knights of the busks" (it had the look of a masonic secret society about it) The letter was probably sent to the wrong person as he didn't know what it was on about. It mentioned a night feast being held in the woods. Well, I remember a few weeks later me and him went up to the woods in mention, after a night at the pub. The woodland when we got there was very thick and had a lot of scrubland (very damp too) after walking a few hundred meters we came upon small clearing with several stones placed around the circumference, some that had strange markings carved onto them. there was also a dish that was hanging from a tree by a rope that was suspended in the center of the clearing. YUp there is definitely something in those woods

Just north of the A616 between Tankersley and Wortley:

7D883D86-0E37-4DAF-B91E-94416B786BC7.png


maximus otter
 
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