Country diary: a hint of Britain’s military past in this old wood


Old Sulehay, Northamptonshire: Partially concealed concrete floors and bricks are scattered among the autumn leaves

Under the great grey beeches at the western end of this Wildlife Trust reserve, a narrow muddy trail branches off the main ride and winds along the northern edge of the wood.

A hefty chunk of white porcelain is the first indication of a history slowly being absorbed by brambles and trees. Partially concealed concrete floors, bricks, broken toilets and fragments of cast iron are scattered among the autumn leaves, indicating that this wood was once inhabited. A decaying British army boot from the second world war hints at a military past.

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