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The WICKED WET WOOD
An extract from 'Short Walks in the New Forest'
by DAVID DICKENSON
ISBN No.1 85306 159 X Countryside Books, Newbury
This subtle route takes us through the Wicked Wet Wood, and is
designed for the young at heart. You will need a pair of wellies and a
good sense of humour.
It is a matter of fine judgement which side of the bank is the least
treachorous at any one time. No two months are ever the same,
although the left bank tends to be easier than the right bank for
most of the journey. Sometimes the driest part is the middle of the
Those who survive this difficult approach will now reach the Wicked
Wet Wood. This is the most miserable, wretched, evil-smelling,
evil-natured wood you are likely to meet, so treasure the moment
It is perpetually damp: light trying to filter through its twisted
stunted branches is snatched at and never reaches down to its lower
members. This is just as well, for these members can only be dimly
perceived prising themselves out of a flatulent greasy bogland so
foul that the only greenery present is the mould and slime covering
unfamiliar excresences. Even the tree roots can be seen attempting to
escape upwards out of the slime and filth. Wildlife enters the
wood to die, and then only if desperate.
Long spindly branches snatch at your hair constantly, even though you
are forced to a constant stoop. Should you get lost, just follow the
line of hairnets snatched from my mother-in-law's head over the
passage of time.