Last week I was fortunate enough to take a little trip with my family to one of the local woods 10 minutes drive away, not overly big but lovely all the same. There really is something special about a woodland, from the instant you leave the car in the bustling car park all your worries seem to dissipate, you are in nature, you are part of nature and that is humbling. To walk in no particular direction, following a squirrel as it skitters across the spongy floor who then darts up the nearest tree, to turn and sit watching you allows you to shed the fug that can come with modern life gives you an understanding. I see you squirrel, you see me, look at us looking at us what could be better? I’ve always had a great fascination with the woods, as a child I spent a good number of walks with my father learning about the animals and trees, sadly most of which I can no longer identify, something I seek to rectify for the sake of my children. Children who are at the same moment that I am staring up at a squirrel are whooping and running carefree in an open safe place, jumping in the mud and reveling in becoming covered in the gunge of mother nature and loving it. Its a place where you can walk hand in hand and not feel the need to talk in the tranquility, the soundtrack of the woods is a comforting melody of swishing leaves, rushing wind, creaking branches and the chitter chatter of birdlife. The smell of the woods is quite something too, damp earth, musty but welcoming and evokes memories of times as a youth spent with my friends making dens, riding my bike like a wannabe stunt man and having an absolute blast, picking fruit, crossing streams and getting bits of tree in my hair and part of me still wants to do this. I love to see an older mature tree, covered in moss which to me gives a sense of longevity and security. Its a comfort to know this tree has been there for a long time, will be there for a lot longer and as I glance upwards at its impressive span and as it reaches up to the sun I am reminded of how small I really am. Then the adolescent me kicks in and I think “that’s climb-able” and I can see a logical path to one of the comforting nooks that could happily take my weight. “I reckon I can climb that” I say to no-one in particular, maybe to Mr Squirrel if he’s still listening and without any real thought my hand grabs, my arm pulls my foot pushes and I am no longer on terra firma, I am monkey man connected only to the tree. A quick scamper using knots and branches as hand and foot holds I find myself comfortably 20ft off the ground with a big smile on my face. My wife turned round to talk to me but I had vanished like a middle aged Robin Hood-Ninja, I called, she looked up. I think her response was one of awe, in fact she was so unable to display how impressed she was with me that she carried on her conversation below me. I love being up a tree I can’t explain it, it just feels lovely swaying with the tree as the wind rushes through. The elevated view is always a bonus, sat with your back against the trunk with your legs swinging over the branch is a great feeling. I have a very long arm span of 7ft so maybe I am part Orang Utan and this is why I am comfortable up in the boughs and why I miss those times of fun in the canopy. So get out there and get up there that’s what I say, don’t hug a tree climb one.