I think of this valley as Thorn Valley. As you walk along on indistinct paths you come across more thorn trees than anywhere else on Blacka. And they're the true twisted thorns that fascinate sculpturally in winter before the brilliant white blossom dazzles in May. Today they suit the misty start to the day as they suggest a link to dark superstitions, charms and spells.
For some of us from the post-war days when children were encouraged to go 'out to play' old Hawthorn trees were excellent play spaces and easy to climb. I can't remember being bothered with the thorns on the older inner parts of the trees though they can be fierce on newer growth.
They're outnumbered by Rowan which in Spring challenges it for floral display being a bit earlier here and the flowers more creamy; but Hawthorn has the more distinguished twisting trunk and resilient bark. Each one is shaped as a separate and unique being.
Deer tracks now give a choice of routes through here for those not content with official paths and tracks increasingly rendered unattractive by bikes and sometimes horses (and cows to come!). This one brought us to the top of the valley falls, better seen from below.
For the moment we can enjoy the absence of intervention and wonder at nature's way of doing things. Such presumption. Doesn't it know we have managers to make such decisions?
Frequently you find fallen or uprooted trees lying where they fell.
This is the place for those hankering for the untamed secret world. And, so far, no piles of sawn logs.