Much as I love to explore and discover new places, I really am drawn to being able to explore specific favourite sites again and again throughout the seasons. It cab feel like peeling away layer upon layer of detail and information as you get to know an area in greater depth. I'm lucky to live close to some amazing ancient woodland in Derbyshire and am deeply inspired by these spaces, much of the woodland rises on hillsides above the river Derwent and also close to Cromford Canal and a significant part is looked after by Derbyshire Wildlife Trust.
Recent walks in these woods are revealing wonderful sights, sounds, smells and textures of spring as it approaches. I've been luck to have encounters with water voles, buzzards, woodpeckers, jays, wrens and early bees as they forage and explore.
I find the sunlight on the woods really inspiring - the shadows and layers of colours can be wonderful at certain times of the day. I do find it a really special time of the yearn when the leaves are not yet out but spring feels in the air - the birds are singing and its easier to spot them, you can see through the trees to the hills and nearby villages and the light filters through to cast shadows on the woodland floor.
I've been building up a series of photographs of the trees and also creating a series of prints and small books using ideas from the woods as inspiration. I have certain trees that I'm especially drawn to and its like greeting a friend when I walk up to them each time I'm in the woods.
I also find the history of the woods and the ways that humans have interacted with the spaces really fascinating. These ancient Derbyshire woodlands have a rich history - and signs of this are evident in a few ruined buildings, old stone walls, pathways and also in the way trees have been coppiced and shaped by human use through the years.